New Deal Coalition Retained Pt II: World on Fire

Discussion in 'Finished Timelines and Scenarios' started by The Congressman, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. The Congressman Well-Known Member

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    New Deal Coalition Retained Pt II: World on Fire
    A TL By the Congressman​

    Here's the original

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    5:40 AM, November 13, 1988

    Good morning, America. This is Tom Brokaw with NBC news. I wish this were just a nightmare, that I was to wake up in several hours and find this to be just a figment of a troubled mind. But sadly, it is not.

    Just seven hours ago, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and their combined allies have declared war on the United States of America. Already the Red Army has begun to assault across Europe, while NBC can confirm Paraguay and Iraq have been invaded by Warsaw Pact forces in the wee hours of the morning. Early reports on the ground have indicated that chemical munitions are being used, ones more deadly than those employed by Congolese forces prior to the Siege of Kinshasa...

    [Inaudible chatter from his ear mic]

    This just in, we are cutting out to a live message from President Rumsfeld.

    [screen cuts out to a blackened background, President Rumsfeld sitting in the center]

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    "My fellow Americans, I come to you from an undisclosed location for my safety and the safety of the American government in these times of crisis.

    "It is with a heavy heart to say that we have begun air, land, and sea operations against the USSR and their Warsaw Pact Allies. We did not seek this fight out, and despite every diplomatic effort General Secretary Kryuchkov has decided upon the course of armed conflict. He has started it, but we will finish it.

    "By emergency order by the Executive Branch, I have ordered the Department of Defense to re-institute the draft. I do not wish this, but it is necessary. Victory will be ours, ours and our allies. The Soviet Government will find out the depth of American resolve and the heat of American fire..."

    [feed cuts off to a frazzled Tom Brokaw; Air raid sirens heard in the background]

    Forgive me, but we have just been notified that Washington DC is soon to be under direct assault by Russian long-range bombers. Pray for us.

    -end-


    "Today is the beginning of World Socialism's glorious victory over the imperialists and capitalists of the West. We will win! We will save our species! The Soviet Union will bring about a new age in humanity upon our victory, and we call upon the United States and all other nations to throw off the shackles of their dominant class and join us in the Revolution."

    -
    General Secretary Kryuchkov-


    "Do you hear that sound, patriots! That is the sound of Soviet bombers assaulting Holy American soil! Washington, New York, Boston, Miami, and Newport News have all reported raids. Not since the perfidy of the southern Mexican swine did a foreign power touch our sacred ground! Rise up! Rise up to join our brothers overseas to repel this Russian menace. Together, we shall burn Moscow to the ground. Burn Rio! Burn Buenos Aries! Burn Tehran! Burn Warsaw! Burn Leningrad! Burn them all and send their godless souls to hell! We shall win! We shall be victorious! We will be free, or die trying!"

    -Excerpt of the New Day with Congressman John G. Schmitz radio program, November 13, 1988-

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    Among all the simulated war scenarios, one constant in every single offensive war plan was closing the Atlantic. Looking to the German strategies of World War Two and how close they came to breaking the backs of the British war effort, it was felt by Stavka that the demands of modern warfare and the reach of modern air power made the importance of the United States even more vital to NATO's war machine. The Soviet Navy had invested greatly into long range commerce raiding, namely a powerful submarine fleet and land-based Naval Air Arm - carrier aviation was strong with three Ulyanovsk-class super-carriers and five Kiev-class VTOL aviation cruisers, but this was seen as more a preventative defensive measure against the far more powerful NATO naval fleet. When the Politburo made war the national policy, the Soviet Navy put the long-term offensive strategies into place.

    In the wee morning hours of November 13th, the long-range Soviet bases in Brazil launched raids on the American eastern seaboard. Forty Tupolev Tu-16 "Badger" bombers hit Miami, Washington, Norfolk, New York, and Boston with specially designed cruise missiles on various military and civilian targets. Damage was light, although the terror caused was immense and one missile took a large chunk out of the Capitol Building (luckily while virtually no one was there). American homeland defense fighters exacted a terrible vengeance, destroying twenty-six of the Badgers and damaging seven more.

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    However, the raid succeeded in its primary objective: causing massive terror and forcing the Americans to keep its attention directed at protecting the homeland. The North Atlantic was open for the Soviets to launch their initial masterstroke. Operation Arctic Fist.

    One of the main strategic airbases for NATO, Iceland and Keflavik Air Force Base were absolutely vital for the NATO war effort. They served as the linchpin for the SOSUS anti-submarine defensive line that swept across the North Atlantic from Scotland, the Orkney Islands, the Shetland Islands, Iceland, and Greenland. A very common Soviet war plan was capturing Iceland, thus opening up the Denmark Strait for their submarines and most of the Atlantic north of the Shetlands for their bomber routes to attack supply convoys. Only a few hours after the Eastern Seaboard Raids, sixty Badger bombers swept in and laid the defenses in Keflavik to waste at the cost of only seven of their number, making it useless as a staging ground for fighters.

    Behind them, massive transport craft hauled over fifteen hundred elite Soviet Airborne Infantry of the 106th Guards Airborne Division. Led personally by General Alexander Lebed, they took advantage of the decreased defenses to land at Keflavik (along with a smaller force of 150 to capture the small NATO air and submarine reserve base at Qaqortoq, Greenland). Fighting between the Soviets and the defending US Marines and Air Force units was fierce, but the sheer size of the Soviet force and the devastation from the Badger sortie made the result a foregone conclusion.

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    The first main Soviet operation of the war was a stunning success, Iceland and the southern tip of Greenland secure with minimum casualties. Supplies were immediately offloaded to assist with the operation, due to the presence of two merchant vessels under a Danish flag but really operated by the Soviet Merchant Marine. These armored vehicles and heavy weapons would go a long way to Iceland being secured after only two days. The Icelandic Prime Minister would surrender the nation on November 15, commanding Air Force Lt. General Chuck Horner becoming one of the many POWs. A small detachment of Marines under one Major James Mattis would escape into the Icelandic countryside and provide NATO forces with eyes on the ground, but their adventures are a topic for later.

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    Almost immediately, Soviet submarine forces poured through the Denmark Strait and into the waters of the North Atlantic, ready to do their part in winning the war. The first punch had been landed, and America was sent back reeling.

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    1:15 PM, December 1st, 1988

    Prague, Czech Federal Republic

    “Identified! Contact front!” Cursing under his breath, H. R. McMaster wished that he had a better firing position. The dug out gravel pit in an industrial park didn’t provide the best cover – his initial position inside a gutted factory was much better, but napalm-equipped Su-24 Fencer strike fighters made him and those in his company hunkered there bug out or get roasted alive. ‘Fucking Commies.’ “T-72 at two o’clock! Sabot!”

    “Got it!” Chambers hooted as Rubio thrust the depleted uranium dart shell into the breech, shutting it with a clang.

    “Fire!”

    “On the way!” The gun boomed, gout of flame scorching the ground in front of the dug in M-1 Haig. Soon after the T-72 erupted in smoke and fire, turret blown clear off as ammunition cooked off – Chambers worked a perfect shot, right between the join of the turret and the body.

    McMaster hooted. “Take that, fuckers!” In the last weeks, the crew had morphed from green into hardened vets, operating like a well-honed machine. Fluidly, a HEAT round made its way into the breech to smite a BMP infantry carrier to hell.

    Even through the thick carapace, the low clang of a wrench on a shell casing was heard loud and clear. “GAS!” Immediately the crew secured all hatches, sealing the Haig tightly against the outside elements. Throwing away every single taboo since the end of WWI, the Warsaw Pact had no compunctions about saturating the battlefields from the East German/Polish border to the Czech capitol with mustard, Phosgene, or Sarin gas. Nerve gasses were the worst – while the tank was usually secure against the dangerous chemicals, the poor infantry only had their NBC suits against impending death or pain.

    “Contact front!” With the gas barrage, the Soviets were pushing hard. “Sabot!” McMaster watched the T-80 zig zag across the battered ground. “Fire!”

    “On the way!” The shell hit right in the glacis plate, and didn’t go through. “Fuck!”

    “HEAT!” At that moment the T-80 fired, decapitating the tank directly to McMaster’s right. “Fire!” Hitting the side armor, Chambers avenged their fallen brothers.

    And the battle for Prague continued.

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    All across the Free Empire of Germany, as the guns at the border erupted in an orgy of battery and counterbattery fire – the skies crisscrossing with thousands of planes dueling in the skies above – citizens and soldiers alike quivered and waited for the hammer blow to come. Many were old enough to remember the Red Army advance into the Third Reich in 1945 and the sheer brutality of it, terror spreading that it would happen again. Millions of Germans prepared to heed their Kaiser and their Chancellor to fight for their freedom and their spiritual liberation… only for the blow not to come.

    Despite the furious air combat engaging between NATO and the Soviet Air Force (which was largely fought to a draw in the first month, neither side able to penetrate too far behind the other’s airspace), no massive Soviet assault into the Fulda Gap was seen. Instead, the initial assaults involved river crossings and a general advance from Mecklenburg towards the outskirts of Hamburg. The move made little sense for Colin Powell and other NATO commanders until they glanced at the initial Soviet assaults in other fronts. For Defense Minister Pyotr Demichev and Marshal Sergey Solokov, the entire front through Poland and East Germany was threatened by what was called the “Hapsburg Salient.” Named because it corresponded to the heart of the formerly Hapsburg-ruled Austro-Hungarian Empire, it consisted of Austria and the Czech Federal Republic and was one of the most heavily fortified areas in all of NATO. If STAVKA launched any invasion of the German Empire it would only expose their underbelly in Poland to furious NATO counterattack. Thus, it had to be neutralized.

    As soon as war was declared the 1st and 8th Guards Armies, along with the bulk of the Polish military, launched Operation Tukhachevsky (joined by three other Soviet armies to the south). Together, they assaulted NATO lines in central Czechia and southeastern Austria, pushing the collected American/French/Czech/Austrian/Canadian forces back into the inner defensive belts. Their goals were Prague and Vienna. If the capital cities fell, then the entire salient would be indefensible. American General Fredrick Franks, the overall NATO commander, knew that as well. Anchoring his flanks with his strongest units, he hoped to lure the Soviets into assaulting Prague directly – a move Soviet Czechoslovakian Front commander Boris Gromov initially launched in the face of heavy casualties.

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    A breakthrough was finally achieved by the 1st Guards Army west of the city against the French military presence. Under saturation from gas and rocket artillery, a feint on Kladno closer in to the city diverted French attention before the 47th Motor Rifle Division blasted through twenty-five miles to the west. Line commanders screamed for reserves to be committed, but a snafu in the French command tent caused the armored units to arrive too late, and Soviet armor was already pouring through the gap. Faced with intense Polish attacks on the eastern flank, General Franks deemed the situation untenable and ordered the entire salient to begin a fighting withdrawal to the Sudetenland.

    Intense criticism would be leveled at Franks and the NATO commanders for the defeat at Prague and the subsequent fighting withdrawal to the Pilsen-Passau-Salzburg Line by Valentine’s Day, but in reality there was no other choice. Determined Soviet assaults and the entrapment of 70,000 Austrian troops in the Vienna pocket (they would surrender in May after a protracted siege) made the entire Hapsburg Salient essentially bare to destruction, and with 500,000 troops and the bulk of the Czech Army saved there was no better move. France would be in an uproar after the debacle of its commanders, and Mitterrand would struggle to find a general with enough combat experience to replace the weakened command structure. In the end, one was found in former President of the Council Jacques Massu. Aged and retired, nevertheless he once again answered his country’s call and took over as supreme commander in the field, causing French morale to skyrocket.

    With the Federal Republic and most of Austria secured, the Soviets shifted their main winter focus to Italy. Intense chemical weapons barrages and a naval infantry landing that captured the island city of Venice made the Venetian defense line anchored on the Isonzo River untenable for the Italian Army, leading to Soviet/Yugoslav/Hungarian forces smashing through on January 7th. The flat plains of Venetia proved excellent terrain for blitzkrieg, and the Warsaw Pact made it as far as Padua before an Italo-British counterattack (an entire British mechanized corps had been dispatched to reinforce the North Italy front) pushed them back and stabilized the frontline at Treviso on February 21st.

    Massive victories under their belt, STAVKA began putting forces into place for the Spring offensive into the German Empire. Free from any distractions or minor fronts elsewhere in Europe, all geared for the coming storm.

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    The second prong of the initial Soviet strategy occurred in the Balkans. Anchored to the bulk of the European Warsaw Pact members was the Kingdom of Greece, conservative to the core and a loyal NATO country. Ruled by a military junta since the late sixties, the coming of Soviet Focoist aggression caused it to go into a military expansion – only coupled by the addition of Italian troops to the extensive defenses by the Berlinguer government. Planners in Moscow realized that the cradle of democracy served as a dagger to the heart of their allies, allies vital to the war effort. If Bulgaria or Yugoslavia were knocked out of the war, crucial manpower would have to be diverted from other fronts and could cause the collapse of the entire plan, something STAVKA couldn’t allow. Luckily for them, the Bulgarian Army had a powerful reinforcement in the form of Romania.

    Controlled for decades by the indomitable Nicolae Ceausescu, the Romanian Army had transformed with Soviet help into one of the premier fighting forces in the Warsaw Pact. Mostly conscript like the vast majority of armies in the Soviet style, they boasted a small but elite force of professionals that Ceausescu deployed to the Greek border under the command of General Vasile Milea. Backed up by several regiments of Soviet fighters (bolstering the nearly entire Bulgarian and Romanian Air Forces), as well as the Soviet Black Sea Fleet that was granted access to the Aegean by the neutral Turkish government, on the 13th a wave of artillery fire erupted along the entire border. Saturation shelling with VX gas punched several holes into the border defenses, holes that the Romanians quickly exploited.

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    Romanian troops fighting in the mountains of central Greece.
    Despite the built up defenses and the advantage to the joint Italo-Greek defenders given by the mountainous terrain of the Attic countryside, the sheer mass of Soviet air and naval power allowed the Bulgarian, Albanian, and Romanian forces to advance steadily. Thessaloniki fell quickly to the Bulgarians, while Romanian mechanized forces routed the Italian third corps to capture Larissa. Hopes were to hold the Warsaw Pact at the approach to Attica but a Romanian heliborne assault in early December turned the defenses at Thermopylae and captured the island of Euboa. The victory broke the back of the new defensive line, caused the capture of over 50,000 NATO troops cut off in the north, and brought the front line to only 25 miles from Athens itself.

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    With Athens on the verge of being captured, Greek Prime Minister Nikolaos Makarezos and Italian Expeditionary Force-Greece commander Lt. General Domenico Corcione both ordered an evacuation of NATO forces across the Corinth Canal while a powerful Greek force hunkered down in Athens to fight house to house and room to room. While many ground commanders were itching to capture the historic city, General Milea was unwilling to expend the lakes of blood needed to take Athens or the Peloponnesus. Better to let NATO expend supplies and manpower for them, a plan agreed to by STAVKA. Bringing in heavy artillery, the Siege of Athens began on Christmas Day, testing the depths of Greek resolve to the very core.

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    Admiral Sergey Gorshkov had a vision of a truly great Soviet blue water navy. Compared to the mighty US and Royal navies that ruled the ocean waves, the maze of weak ships and commerce raiding submarines were a disappointment outclassed even by the pre-Massu French fleet. Despite constant pressure and begging, Nikita Khrushchev refused to allow a naval expansion – he believed it was a boondoggle and waste of money. All of this changed with Vladimir Semichastny taking over as General Secretary. The hardliners saw a large Navy not as flushing funds down the toilet but as a vital need for power projection. Hopes for a global communist empire precipitated on a large and powerful blue water navy, and thus began the massive naval expansion.

    By the start of World War III, the Soviet Navy was the third largest in the entire world (60% of the US Navy and only barely beaten out by the Royal Navy). The largest branch was still the submarine forces, matching Soviet war doctrine to close the Atlantic by any means necessary. However, the surface fleet found the biggest expansion with the laying down of dozens of cruisers and destroyers, including four Kirov-class nuclear-powered battlecruisers armed to the brim with missiles and designed to counter America’s California-class and the Royal Navy’s Lion-class nuclear cruisers. The biggest step though was in naval aviation. While in the past it had been primarily land-based, Gorshkov managed to wrangle through the Politburo the approval to build four Kiev-class “aviation cruisers.” Effectively missile-armed light carriers, each carried twelve VTOL fighters. But this wasn’t enough, and they were joined by three supercarriers along the lines of the American Enterprise-class or British Hood-class – the Ulyanovsk, Red October, and Kursk.

    While a large fleet, there were no illusions that the Royal Navy and US Navy could both outgun and outfly them. If NATO decided to assault the Soviet Arctic coast and the Barents Sea, there was nothing they could really do. Therefore, STAVKA decided the best defense was offense and a gamble was required. Defense Minister Demichev wasn’t keen on risking their carriers or strategic bombers (all staffed by elite forces), but he was persuaded by the aging Gorshkov that there was no other way to secure both Iceland and the northern seas. Predictably, the NATO carrier group under the command of Vice Admiral Randy Cunningham, Rear Admiral John McCain, and Rear Admiral Stanly Woodward began advancing towards the Faroe Islands. With northern Norway assaulted and captured by Soviet Naval Infantry, the Norwegian Sea passage was all that was available to them and the Soviets were ready. The sizable fleet of 7 fleet carriers was matched by the entire Soviet offensive blue water strike force.

    Together, the forces were evenly matched in terms of carrier aircraft – the NATO fleet had less fighter strength but each F-14 Hellcat II had a larger missile capacity and a more effective firing range so it equalized. A just carrier on carrier battle would have been a NATO advantage due to a more effective missile defense, but the Soviets had a secret weapon. While the fighters assaulted each other – leading to a volley of American and British missiles that cruised to hit the Soviet ships – a mass of 150 Badger and Backfire strategic bombers arrived on scene from their bases in the Kola Peninsula and added their missile load to the fray.

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    Despite a valiant effort from British Harrier jets and French Crusader fighters kept behind as carrier air patrol, the Soviet Backfires and Badgers managed to loose 250 Kingfish anti-ship missiles at the fleet. Cunningham ordering evasive maneuvers, the fleet’s two Omaha Beach-class AEGIS missile cruisers managed to down 112 with their precise anti-air capacity – further SAMs and close in weapons systems aboard the remaining ships added 90 more, but the remainder reached the fleet with catastrophic results. Forrestal and Charles Martel were covered in flames and would sink, while Richard M. Nixon, John Paul Jones, and HMS Ark Royal were damaged to various extents. A total of ten ships were sunk and 5,000 killed in the greatest American naval disaster since Pearl Harbor. NATO’s naval offensive capability was crippled indefinitely.

    Despite grievous losses of their own, the Soviet Navy was jubilant. Through their elite land-based air arm and rigorous training for the mission, they had taken on the renown US and Royal navies and won a massive victory. Both the Red October and the two undamaged aviation cruisers would stay in the region to ward off any further NATO incursion while the damaged ships headed to Murmansk for refitting. Meanwhile, Admiral McCain took over command of the fleet and ordered them back to Southampton for the same. The Pentagon would look over the results with worry. With the Royal Navy needed to secure other sea lanes the only option was a massive transfer of naval assets from the Pacific – doable due to China sitting out the war and the Soviets unenthusiastic about launching attacks from Vladivostok. However, the assets would take months to move in force.

    The convoys were therefore on their own till at least the spring.

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    Hands shaking, Donald Rumsfeld took more time than one would think to readjust his glasses. His hair was already greying more now than it had in his entire first term. The Oval Office felt like a prison cell - but at least it was better than the inhuman bunkers the Secret Service had whisked him too. NORAD fighter squadrons had ensured no more raids hit the east coast from South America, one of the few pluses going for NATO since the war began.

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    And now he was faced with one of the consequences of those losses. "Is this the only way, George?"

    "Yes, Mr. President," said a grim-faced George Bush. The Secretary of Defense was the only official from the Pentagon here, all general officers otherwise indisposed on more pressing matters. "Our generals have said that we will gain effectiveness with this course of action, and deny the Soviets any advantage. In war, sir, we cannot unilaterally disarm ourselves."

    Rumsfeld's heart sank. "I know, but can this decision still be right?" He didn't want to do it. God, how could he face his grandchildren after this order.

    "The orders forbid them from being used against civilians, something I doubt the enemy would copy." Bush sighed. The defeat at Prague and Venetia had already seen much of the landscape poisoned from the deadly gasses - civilians making up 80% of the casualties. "Mitchell and Mitterrand have already greenlit their use by the British and French armies, and I know the Germans, Italians, and Chileans have already used them in battle. They don't have the stockpiles to match the Red Army. We do."

    "May our children forgive us." Pen scribbling on the bottom of the document, President Rumsfeld authorized US ground forces to employ chemical weapons in combat.

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    The odd man out in the Warsaw Pact was Communist Portugal. Essentially an island of red in a sea of NATO blue, most analyses by laymen and experts on both sides would write it off as the first Warsaw Pact nation to fall come a war. Falangist Spain - now a democracy - was acutely aware of the threat and kept a strong military presence on the border. They were ready to launch an immediate offensive as soon as war was declared, and thusly defenses were largely neglected.

    This presented an opportunity for STAVKA. While they doubted Portugal would hold it's own against NATO assault unless a complete collapse occurred in Europe (after the marginalization of the Italian Communist Party and Libya shirking on its alliances, there was little chance), holding the naval and airbases maintained since the Portuguese Crisis as long as possible and essentially knocking Spain out of the war loomed large as a proper objective. Throughout the 70s and 80s, especially after the December Coup, the Red Army sent in massive amounts of equipment to the Portuguese military and its own powerful corps-sized military unit (five divisions). If they were going to lose, they would lose under a blaze of glory.

    In a twist of irony - seen by many as bigotry on STAVKA's part - the vast majority of the Soviet ground forces in Portugal were from the Caucasus and Central Asian Republics. Though the decision had been made nearly a decade before, both Kryuchkov and Demichev considered these soldiers expendable. Well, more expendable than the average Russian/Ukrainian/Belorussian conscript. It was commanded by Armenian Colonel General Norat Ter-Grigoryants, who in the year leading up to the commencement of hostilities had planned extensively with Portuguese General Secretary Alvaro Cunhal and Ground Forces Commander Sagueiro Maia for an immediate assault on the Spanish host. The best defense was a good offense, and Ter-Grigoryants was determined to protect the western enclave of European communism to the best of his ability.

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    Spanish artillery firing upon the advancing communists.

    The actual first shots of World War III occurred on the Portuguese-Spanish border. A sharp hour-long barrage of artillery and mustard gas paralyzing the Spanish defenders, Warsaw Pact troops launched a three prong offensive backed up by significant air cover (the Soviet Air Force managed to destroy most of the Spanish airborne radar coverage, giving them air superiority over the Iberian skies for the opening assault). One prong moved directly north to capture Vigo and Santiago de Compostela, the second (including the most powerful Portuguese units) advanced on Badajoz to open up an assault on Castille, while the third (with the entire Soviet component) moved in a sickle maneuver to take Seville and cut off Cadiz. Reeling, the Spanish were knocked back on all fronts. In the north and Andalusia they managed to withdraw in good order, if bloodied, but Badajoz was a disaster that saw 30,000 soldiers end up surrendering after being cut off.

    By the end of November, Galicia was largely in Portuguese control and Seville was on the frontlines, but Ter-Grigoryants deemed that both fronts were distractions. The sheer magnitude of the Spanish collapse in western Castille opened up an opportunity to advance to Madrid and capture Spain's largest city. If Madrid fell, it would essentially force NATO to tie down hundreds of thousands of troops that could make or break the more consequential battles to the east. Greenlighting the use of V-series nerve agents, Ter-Grigoryants ordered the Portuguese 1st Army back on the advance on November 29th while the Soviet Iberian Corps quickly smashed out of Andalusia towards Cordoba - and Toledo beyond it.

    Within Spanish high command, Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez was close to a breakdown. The first leftist leader of Spain since the civil war, he had been elected initially in 1986 on a platform of lessening the militarism of the previous Falange/Falange-independent right coalition governments preceding him. The December Coup changed that, but the hyped military had nearly dissolved against the fierce Soviet/Portuguese invasion. With Toledo quickly being threatened, Gonzalez sacked the military leadership and placed the qualified and rabidly Francoist General Antonio Tejero in charge, but he knew reinforcements were needed. Luckily, they were forthcoming in the shape of 300,000 French soldiers and a new overall commander - one the Spanish accepted despite their pride.

    Former President of the Council of France Jacques Massu.

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    Despite being eighty, Massu was in good health and itching to serve one last time for his country. The most decorated officer in the French Army still in shape to command, the disaster at Prague led Mitterrand to accept his offer to be the main French commander in the field. Colin Powell, clearly aware of the Spanish setbacks, appointed him commander of all NATO forces in Iberia. Taking control in Madrid with a determination and zeal for command not seen since Napoleon, Massu deemed that with the situation at hand, it would be best to let the enemy come. If they impaled themselves on Madrid's defenses, then a general collapse of Portugal could be achieved before Spring. He would keep his French reinforcements back around Madrid, while Tejero and the Spanish lured Ter-Grigoryants in.

    On December 17th, Toledo fell to the Warsaw Pact blitzkreig. Aware of the French forces thanks to aerial reconnaissance (the air war now a draw due to the presence of French fighters), Ter-Grigoryants nevertheless ordered his forces into the fray. There was simply nowhere else to advance without more men except Cadiz, but the Spanish Navy had already left port and the capture of Seville rendered it a useless appendage. However, he would not advance into the city. Instead, artillery would turn the city to rubble while the Portuguese advanced through the outer towns - then he would use his Soviet forces to break through and surround NATO. The battle began in earnest on the 20th, Massu authorizing French chemical stockpiles to answer the Soviets in kind. Most of the city was evacuated, but enough remained to leave Madrid a charnel house of death and maiming as the armies clashed. Slowly, bloodily, the Portuguese advanced and cleared out town after town. The French committed themselves and on the 11th of January, so did the Soviets.

    Breaking through at Arganda del Rey, Soviet forces advanced quickly but were met by a surprise Massu had left in reserve. Joining a French armored division in the counterattack were 30,000 fresh troops - Portuguese troops. Fresh from Luanda were two divisions of the Free Portuguese Army under the Lion of Angola, General Kaulza de Arriaga. Fighting with a zeal to reclaim their homeland, they smashed into the exhausted Soviets and forced them back, part of a general assault all along the line devised by the aging French commander. Seeing no other choice other than being crushed by the NATO armored pincers, Ter-Grigoryants ordered a withdrawal to better defensive lines around Toledo. Madrid was left a ruined city, but with the Spanish flag still fluttering tall above it.

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    Reeling from their defeat, the Soviet and Portuguese commanders plotted a smaller offensive to capture Cadiz and Gibraltar before going fully to the defensive when disaster struck. The US Navy was enraged from its defeat at the Norwegian Sea. Humiliated by the RUSSIANS of all people, not a traditional naval superpower, the Atlantic fleet now under Vice Admiral John S. McCain's command was itching for some payback. On the Winter Equinox, 2,500 marines landed on the Azores, liberating it from communist control. This was just the appetizer, followed up by the main course. Just a week after the defeat at Madrid, a carrier battle fleet of four US ships (the Richard M. Nixon, Oriskany, Theodore Roosevelt, and Enterprise) launched a massive strike on the Portuguese coast, backed up by over one hundred B-52 bombers out of the American East Coast. The Portuguese SAM defenses were decimated by Wild Weasel suppressor aircraft out of Lajes and the Canary Islands, paving the way for the aircraft to cripple much of the Metropole's defenses over the course of a week.

    Essentially having Communism foisted on them since the fateful 1975 election, the Portuguese people were at the end of their tether. Only generous aid from the USSR and the presence of a powerful secret police under Cunhal kept them in line, and with their sons dying in a war essentially no one wanted, the population began to rise against their government. Poverty, economic stagnation, and war led them to the streets, and Cunhal was forced to pull troops from the frontlines to keep order. Massu saw this opportunity and launched the February offensive. Toledo was recaptured on the 7th, Seville two days later, many Portuguese units defecting to Arriaga's burgeoning force. The Soviets were surrounded at Merida on the 25th, Ter-Grigoryants surrendering on the 1st of March. Finally, a mass of civilians and mutinying soldiers stormed the Communist Party headquarters in Lisbon. Cunhal was found and lynched in the streets along with many of the party leadership. Imprisoned dissident Mario Soares, released from jail, took control of the government and accepted Massu's demand for unconditional surrender.

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    On the Ides of March, Arriaga's forces entered Lisbon to a hero's welcome, the streets lined with cheering civilians. It was said that every soldier's pack teemed with flowers, and they and the Franco-Spanish host that followed them had no shortage of warm beds with eager women enthusiastic to reward their liberators. The American and other western press trumpeted the victory to the skies, President Rumsfeld relieved to no end for some good news. From Luanda, Prime Minister Francisco de Costa Gomes set in motion the long-awaited plan to transfer back to Lisbon, but for now the Metropole would be managed by a NATO military governor. Massu, having won the only major victory against Warsaw Pact in the war's early stages, was transferred to Germany eager to fight the Russian horde threatening his country.

    For the Soviet Union, most expected this and counted the damage to Spain (essentially the crippling of much of its army and industrial base) as a major victory. However, a silent tempest was inadvertently created. Essentially having sent an army of Muslims and Armenians to wither and die, discontent began to brew in the outlying republics. It wasn't anything but discontent at this point, but seeds were planted that the Politburo would soon reap.
     
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  2. The Congressman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Good ol' USA
    At dawn on November 13th, 1988, Iraqi forces at Qaim, Basra, and all along the northern borders awoke to a sheet of artillery fire from across the border. Masses of tanks and infantry advanced under heavy air cover, their target the extensively militarized state of Saddam Hussein. Long sandwiched between the two enemy powers of Communist Iran and Ba’athist Syria (having drifted far apart from their former ideological allies in the Iraqi Ba’ath Party), the dreaded day had come for Baghdad at long last.

    Only a decade before, the positions had been completely reversed. Still rebuilding from the violent coup that eliminated the British-backed monarchy, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq allied firmly in the Soviet camp. At the height of its power under Prime Minister Ismael Shafae, Iran stood strong as America’s Middle Eastern anchor against communist aggression. Then came the Iranian Revolution and the subsequent, opportunistic ratting by Saddam that resulted in the current configuration. Communist General Secretary Noureddin Kianouri had, following his ascension to leading the nation, allied himself among the more moderate leaders of the Warsaw Pact such as Alexander Yakovlev and Nicolae Ceausescu. However, his untimely death brought in the far more radical Khosro Golsorki, who rapidly militarized the nation against Saddam’s own militarization initiatives. Coordination between the Soviet-aligned Hafez al-Assad in Damascus were put into place. USSR and East German trained forces stood off against US and South African trained forces, one preparing for offense and the other for defense.

    Saddam Hussein was not known for his even-temperedness, and it took much convincing by his generals and allies to shift from his original desire to launch immediate offensives into Iran and Syria upon the commencement of hostilities. The hopelessness of being surrounded – at least in the north – on two sides by hostile powers managed to pierce his usual stubbornness. A rough defensive plan was cooked up, leading to the Middle East’s largest military force to fight a proactive defense to bleed the invaders white while withdrawing to a pre-prepared defensive line anchored at Saddam’s ancestral home of Tikrit until Saudi Arabian reinforcements could be summoned.

    The advance into Kurdistan was brutal but quick. Despite the rocky terrain, the opening salvo with elite mountain units of the Iranian Army and an infighting among the residing Kurds (between the communist forces that were allied with the Iranian Kurdish communists and the more pro-Baghdad Kurdish Democratic Party). Seeing the suppression of Kurdish organizations not toeing the government line in Iran (even during the reign of the Shah) and the left-leaning Turkish government, Saddam’s wily political instincts led him to court their support and grant them limited autonomy in 1982 as long as they toed his line. And come the Iranian invasion, with the reports of Golsorki’s record against non-communist Kurds, they mobilized their militia to fight the invasion.

    However, two weeks of fighting found the disorganized Iraqi’s forced back to only twenty miles from Mosul itself. Reinforcements arriving from the south convinced General Kamel Sajid to make a needed stand rather than continuing the fighting withdrawal. Fortifying themselves in a large series of fortifications centered in Mosul and the Kurdish city of Erbil, urban fighting began in earnest as the Iranians hit them head on.

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    With the solid anchoring of the Tigris and the snail’s pace characteristic of urban offensives, General Sajid could have held out for months and made a lake rivaling Lake Michigan out of Iranian blood. However, the Syrians made this impossible. The main thrust of the Eastern Front was planned to be along the Euphrates in Anbar Province. Taking Qaim after two days of bloody fighting, overall Syrian commander in chief Mustafa Tlass found the Iraqi defenses and significant mobile reserves were too powerful to either bash through them or outflank them through the desert. With Saudi reinforcements essentially forthcoming, he decided to gamble. His own armored reserve, a mere 20,000, were paired with newly raised tribal militia and sent through the far less defended borders of the north. Backed by temporarily borrowed Soviet air cover from Yerevan, their unexpected offensive broke through and threatened to cut off the Iraqi defenses at Mosul.

    When the rearguard forces under Saddam’s eldest son Uday lost Tal Afar – leading to Uday being wounded in the field, rumors persisting it was friendly fire to remove him from command – General Sajid ordered a withdrawal from Mosul and Erbil. Artillery laid down a carpeting barrage to facilitate the evacuation, mines and booby traps rendering the cities virtual death traps as the withdrawal was executed. What would be known as the Battle of the Tigris would ensue as strikes and counterstrikes from the two sides would result in territory changing hands once a day in some areas, Iraq sacrificing space and men for time to fortify the defenses, withdraw units, and prepare the Kurdish militias for their all-important task. Kirkuk, Hawija, Sulaymaniyah, and Al Qayyarah would see vicious and brutal battles, all strategic draws leaving the winner unable to fully follow up on taking or retaking the town.

    In the south of the country, there were to be no withdrawals. The mountain towns on the western edge of the Zagros Mountains were the sight of large artillery duels and skirmishes, neither side willing to commit their best to break through due to the lack of major objectives in the region. Overall, it was a quiet front as the Iranians poured through the breakthrough at Mosul with the Syrian Eastern Front and the Iraqis and racing Saudi armored columns attempted to counterattack locally to firm up the Tikrit-Haditha Line. For the Iraqi-Kuwaiti forces guarding the Shat-al-Arab in and around Basra, there was no relative quiet. There, the elite of the Iranian Army gathered to storm across the great river and capture the vital oil fields.

    Gas and rocket artillery roared toward the western bank, causing chaos and pain among the civilian population of Basra. The crack armored spearheads began their crossing of the river… only to be beaten back over and over again by the determined Iraqi defenders. Enraged by the massive civilian casualties within Basra – the Iranian commander deliberately targeting the city with mustard gas and cluster munitions in order to disrupt all supply routes and communications – the Iraqis fought like banshees, beating back the initial assault on the 13th and subsequent ones on the 16th, 20th, and 27th. All across the Middle East the defenders of Basra became a living legend, Saddam and other Arab leaders personally visiting the front. The fact that the Saudis sent most of their air power to the region to supplement the Iraqi forces to build air superiority only helped the defenders’ positions.

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    Saddam photo op at the frontline - reality was he was nowhere near the front, merely at an under construction secondary line ten miles behind the front.
    In Tehran and Abadan, the Communist commanders were being beaten on all sides by both Golsorki and STAVKA. Basra was supposed to be in their hands by the second day, and Kuwait fallen by now. Instead, they were standing like swine without even having crossed the river. The local commanders were given the order to use whatever means necessary to get across the river and breakthrough, no matter the cost. Planning for almost a month, on January 11th the Iranians launched the largest assault yet. Every warplane that the Iranians could muster, including naval fighters, air defense interceptors from the capitol, and a Soviet reserve force from Ashgabat, was hurled at the front and successfully overwhelmed the Iraqi/Saudi force. Four full corps raced across the river and overcame the defenses, often doing so with rivers of blood but succeeding. Iraq now had a large armored force moving to wheel around Basra and surround the city – but had one ace left in the hole.

    On direct orders from Saddam, the Iraqis hurled their reserves into the fray, three divisions of the Republican Guard. Hitting the Iranian spearhead north of Zubayr, the elite tank forces savaged the charging Iranians and blunted the entire offensive. Despite the largest armored battle in the Middle East since the Yom Kippur War, the offensive petered out. Iran could not advance further, and Iraq couldn’t drive them back into the river. It was a draw, if a slight Iranian victory, coupled with the successful withdrawal to the Tikrit Line. The Iraq front had stabilized over mountains of corpses.

    --------------------​

    Lebanon, which had seen its government fall apart in the 1970s due to fighting between various groups divided on ideological and sectarian lines, found itself back under Syrian occupation following the Israeli withdrawal in 1979.

    In Jerusalem, the Israelis had been operating in a unity coalition government of all three political parties since October. The lessons of the Yom Kippur War were kept, the military ready for the coming assault by the Syrians in the north and in the Golan Heights (political pressure convinced Rabin not to make a preemptive strike). Advised by STAVKA, Mustafa Tlass resisted Assad’s desire to attack the Zionists. To do so would be foolish to the point of insanity. The top Syrian brass knew how Israel had turned near defeat into crushing victory in 1971 against them, and it would take a far better strategy to defeat them now. Where the Syrian military’s vaunted tank forces should go, Tlass argued, was the weak link in NATO’s Middle Eastern allies – Jordan. Not having fought a war since 1948, the Hashemite Kingdom was the least equipped and least professional military. Rabin and Foreign Minister Michael Harish offered to move several divisions to bolster the northern border defenses but were rejected. While allies since the Treaty of Amman, many in advising the Jordanian King were still rabidly anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist, cooperation between the two almost always flowing through either the US or UK.

    A sentiment Syria exploited greatly. Sowing diversion by feints into the Golan, south from Lebanon, and from the central desert south to Amman, all hid the real Syrian plan until November 20th. In the early morning hours, the ground shook from the bombardment as 400,000 Syrians advanced from Daraa. The Jordanian flank guards were annihilated in the sudden attack as Irbid was surrounded and bombarded into submission while hooking around and advancing into the land directly south of the Galilee – behind the Israeli lines.

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    Israeli tanks rolling through Haifa.
    The situation dire on the Israeli side, the Jordanian collapse threatened to trap a significant portion of the IDF in the north. Commanding in the field was Defense Minister and hero of the 1971 War Ariel Sharon. Issuing orders, disaster almost occurred when the commander of their vital reserve armored force – the 36th Armored Division – was killed by a Syrian MiG-23 that broke through the vaunted Israeli air defenses and fighter screen. With the armored spearheads shearing through the defenses, Sharon took personal charge of the division and moved to blunt the Syrians.

    Assuming command, Sharon immediately threw the division into the heat of the fray. Positioning tanks in every town, village, and kibbutz on the approach to Nazareth, he duplicated his strategy in the Yom Kippur War to great effect. Israeli ground attack fighters savaging the Syrians, the sons of those that fought to the north were forced into a bottleneck at the home city of the Lord Jesus Christ. Day after day they attacked and attacked, and every time the dogged Israelis forced them back with grievous casualties. On the final assault, on the cusp of Ariel Sharon’s greatest victory, just as the Syrians began retreating a sniper put a Dragunov round through his chest. Rushed to a field hospital, Sharon would never recover and ascend to the heavens at 11:47 PM on the 7th of December.

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    Ariel Sharon’s death was a massive blow to the national consciousness, but in his sacrifice and the sacrifice of the 36th Armored Division was not in vein. By the time the Syrians resumed their offensive after the New Year, Most of the north had been evacuated to better defensive positions in the south. Israel had lost a sizable portion of its territory but gained a far better position more in line with the Jordanian defense of Amman. Haifa became a battleground, and any Blitzkrieg-style assaults were out of the question as the anchors of the major cities and narrow battlefields – despite the ability to outflank through the deserts, there wouldn’t be any gain due to the massive fortifications and the distances involved. It would be a long hard slog for Syria from here on out.

    The Warsaw Pact had won the first round, but hope was starting to dawn by the anti-Communist forces. Surviving a massive Soviet/Ethiopian air assault on its massive naval and air base at Aden, the Royal Navy cleared all Iranian attempts to expand its naval operations outside the Persian Gulf. Running resupply operations for the French at Djibouti and the Somalians in Somaliland, Aden would soon become a hub of activity – not all naval. Troop transports docking, the first divisions of the ANZAC Expeditionary Force disembarked onto the Arabian sands.

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    April 7, 1989; Near Yamanakako, Empire of Japan

    "This tea is exquisite." A weathered finger marked with too many decades of experience brought the cup back to the man's mouth. "Keep this between us, but I far prefer tea from the orient to English brands." Ronald Reagan chuckled heartily.

    "I shall not inform our English allies of that," replied Yasuhiro Nakasone, allowing himself a smile of his own. In a society of overpoliteness and rigid protocol, dealing with the folksy former American President was a rare pleasure. John Kennedy hadn't been as down to earth, but the Foreign Minister remembered he brought his own type of friendliness.

    "My apologies that the Prime Minister couldn't make it."

    "Yes, it is... unfortunate." The official like was that Mishima had a contagious upper respiratory infection, but the truth was that he sought the solitude of a mountain shrine to meditate on the next course of action. To see what the Kami wished of him.

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    Setting the steaming cup down, Reagan shifted on the plush chair - while the traditional atmosphere of Japan had made a significant comeback in popularity since Yukio Mishima took office - western influence in common life wasn't going away. "Let me get down to business, Yasu. It is no secret that my government wishes Japan to honor its treaty obligations and join us in our crusade to defend liberty."

    Nakasone's face hardened. "Mr. President..." With news of Secretary of State Cheney's heart attack in March - one month before - and the rushed appointment of John Danforth in his place so Cheney could recover, Rumsfeld decided to appoint Reagan as his special envoy to Asia to cut down on Danforth's responsibilities in this trying time. And Reagan was a far more formidable negotiator, likely from his union experience long ago. "The last time Japan fought a war, it did not go well. Our Constitution renounced offensive war."

    "And yet your government repealed that part of the constitution, which was one of Prime Minister Mishima's priorities."

    'Damn.' "You are correct, but war is not a decision made lightly."

    Reagan smiled. "A wise sentiment, but liberty is only one generation removed from extinction." An eyebrow rose. "Considering evidence that your military is readying itself, perhaps the Prime Minister feels the same way."

    It didn't surprise Nakasone that the American's knew this. "And if we were?"

    "The United States is prepared to recognize the following for the Empire of Japan." As each item left Reagan's lips, Nakasone grew more inwardly eager. 'This is better than we could ever dream.' Mishima would be happy. "If it is a question of timing rather than engagement, then I believe our governments can reach an accord."

    Nakasone nodded. "Perhaps we can."

    -----------------
    On December 16, 1988, the guns on the border between Zambia and Rhodesia boomed, explosive and chemical shells screaming north. With the tensions of the past still simmering slightly, it had taken some time before the Mutual Defense Pact comprised of South Africa, Rhodesia, Bechuanaland, Tanzania, Lesotho, Swaziland, Kwazulu, and the various Bantuistans declared war on the entirety of the Warsaw Pact. But after Foreign Minister Nelson Mandela acquired the assurances of the Mozambican government that they would not seek hostilities, there was no need to delay. Prime Minister of Andries Truernicht sought the consent of Parliament to attack, and a declaration of war was given. They were joined by Rhodesian Prime Minister P. K. van der Byl, and the others soon followed.

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    Rhodesian machine gun team. For such a small nation, the RDF was arguably the best trained militarizes in Africa.

    In the months leading up to WWIII and following the start of the Central African War, the initial force of 225,000 SADF and 150,000 RSDF poured across the Zambian border led by Defense Minister Magnus Malan. Taking the defenders by surprise and overwhelming them with massive firepower and air superiority, the Zambian capital of Lusaka fell within three weeks. While Zambia diverted thousands of troops from Katanga to try and fail to contain the MDP forces, on four sides the Entebbe Pact armies launched counterattacks. With South Africa having virtually decapitated the Zambian host, the jackals moved to take their piece of the body. Mozambican President Samora Michel, seeing which way the wind was blowing, joined in by signing the Treaty of Entebbe and invading Zambia – in ratting, their once ally sealed the nation’s fate. Zambia unconditionally surrendered in April.

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    Once South Africa and its allies joined the war, the northern Warsaw Pact nations knew that their southern comrade was screwed. Therefore, offensives planned for the spring were moved up, the Socialist Alliance of Nigeria, Cameroon, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Congo joined by Benin, Mali, Ghana, and the two Guineas. With this combined firepower, four separate offenses were launched. Mali, Ghana, and the two Guineas invaded Burkina-Faso, the small country essentially occupied by mid-January. Benin quickly conquered Togo while Nigeria launched the long anticipated assault on South African aligned Biafra. The two nations hating each other for decades since Benin won its independence with British assistance, the Nigerian offensive that managed to capture Benin City, Calabar, and the capital of Enugu before tapering off in the face of fierce resistance brought a wave of atrocities upon the Igbo people – that only caused the Biafrans to fight harder. In the first six months of the war, over 600,000 total casualties were reported.

    Meanwhile in the east, the titans of the Socialist Alliance and Entebbe Pact squared off once more. Deeming Uganda and Kenya were too risky to assault, Khartoum and Addis Ababa felt that they had to remove secondary fronts and knock Zaire out of the war. In March, after months of massing forces, the offensives were launched. Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian soldiers converged into Somaliland and managed to rout organized opposition. Somali commanders sent insurgent bands to the hills and retreated to French Djibouti, where the dogged French colonial defenders hunkered within the fortifications around the Gulf of Tadjoura. Meanwhile, what armor the Sudan had launched into northern Zaire from occupied Ubangi-Shari for the temporary Zairian capitol of Kisangani. With President Mobutu declaring not one inch of ground to be lost, the offensive managed to make it halfway before South African reinforcements halted it in May. Meanwhile, Congo tightened its noose around Kinshasa while Gabonese soldiers captured Spanish Guinea and Portuguese Carinda.

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    South Africa’s mobilization threatened to add a numerical advantage to the Entebbe Pact that could not be found anywhere else. It was the highest populated state in Africa aside from Egypt, and the most advanced – however, planners in STAVKA had a plan for neutralizing its advantages. On the Ides of March, viewers of the state television station found the programming changed. Instead of the normal news broadcast was a recording of a black man, Chris Hani, leader of Umkonto we Sizwe and the most wanted man in all of Africa. Declaring it was time for revolution, Hani in a twenty minute diatribe placed in by a raid on the central television network in Pretoria (put down by security forces in a seven hour standoff) declared war on the “White oppressors and colored traitors.” Despite making massive strides and the inclusion of all citizens in the regular voting processes, the Bewaring reforms only gave the franchise to 20% of the black/colored population, mostly from the collaborationist elite or anti-communist ethnic groups such as the Zulus.. To the rest, all they needed was a spark to revolt. And revolt they did, riots plaguing the cities, the Bantuistans (except for Kwazulu, which was very loyal) and insurgents battling with security forces in the countryside. Truernicht declared martial law, and Pretoria ordered the vast reserves of the SADF to fight the insurgency.

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    The first shots of the South American front were over the skies of the Falklands, where the 500 Royal Marines stationed on the island awoke to the droning sounds of hundreds of Argentinean and Brazilian aircraft, saturating the islands with paratroopers. After three days of fighting that culminated in the Battle of Stanley, the Falkland Islands were secured for the Warsaw Pact.

    While the Falklands received massive press, the British kept no strategic forces there. The real battles played out on the South American mainland. Surrounded on all sides by communist nations, Paraguay collapsed first. It lasted six weeks, its army fighting valiantly and then fleeing into the countryside to fight a guerilla war against the Brazilian and Argentinean occupiers. Meanwhile, despite the poor roads and terrible logistics of getting supplies across the Amazon, the Brazilian northern Army began its assault on the trio of states from along the coast (the only developed portions) – French Guiana, British Guyana, and Suriname. Cayenne would fall by February, while British/French/Venezuelan forces halted the advance at Paramaribo in April.

    Meanwhile, the vast mass of the Brazilian army launched the March offensive from the Rio Negro region into Venezuela, aimed for the Orinoco Basin. Dubbed the Casiquiare option after the Casiquiare canal that allow to jump from the Rio Negro into the Orinoco river, logistics were bad, but the Warsaw Pact spent a decade and a half on infrastructure development of rail lines and roads through the Amazon. The Brazilians (structured as a modern version of the Japanese light forces that cut large swaths through the Southeast Asian jungles during WWII) were up to the task, equipped with small arms, light tanks, and powerful air cover. Over 800,000 faced a total of 500,000 Venezuelans and Colombians, hundreds of thousands of casualties taken before May 20th found Brazil at the river at Puerto Ayacucho. Venezuela and Colombia were exposed, especially as a smaller force advanced from Boa Vista to Ciudad Bolivar.

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    Peruvian troops on the battlefield.
    With the lush jungles and the high peaks of the Andes, and the lack of any real development of infrastructure to supply even the lightest of forces, the main thrust of the Argentinian/Bolivian forces was the sea of Chile’s Atacama region and Lake Titicaca. The Peruvians, weakened by years of civil war, were forced back and Juliaca captured, but the powerful Chilean Army under the orders of President Pinochet fought a successful delaying action over the winter and spring months. The sea was reached, but the invaders bloodied so extensively that they were halted 20 miles north of Antofagasta with heavy casualties.

    In the north, the Peruvian frontier with Brazil was largely impossible for major forces to traverse. As air units dogfighted above and bombers raced to hit Lima or reinforce Quito – locked in a life of death struggle to fight the Colombian and Peruvian invaders, the militant band led by the neo-Incan Pachacuti embarked on a mission that would catapult them into status as national heroes. Armed with barely anything above small arms, 500 of them crossed into Brazil in small groups to begin a campaign of sabotage, terror, and recon that tied thousands of Brazilian troops to hunt them down. Peruvian peasants and oppressed natives in the Amazonian jungles would flock to them, ballooning their numbers to over 6,000 by the end of the year.

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    With nearly 50% of all Soviet naval tonnage being from its submarine force, NATO strategic doctrine necessitated that the crucial supply shipments from the United States to Europe be conducted in convoys (with merchant marine tonnage significantly less than WWII levels, the protection of the ships was all the more critical). Thanks to the fall of Iceland and Greenland, breaking the SOSUS anti-submarine net that would have served to lessen the threat considerably, the effort became just as urgent as it was following the Fall of France in 1940. Soviet submarines now had unfettered access to the Atlantic, and would be joined by the entirety of the strategic naval aviation Backfire and Badger bomber squadrons. Nearly 30% of the combined US/Royal/Royal Canadian/French armadas were earmarked for convoy duty in 1989, shepherds among the sheep and wolves. What would follow were horrors far greater than that of the previous Battle of the Atlantic, dubbed the Blue Gauntlet.

    Convoy FQ-B2 was a good example, famous for the autobiographical thriller Hell is Blue and film of the same name. Documented by Commander Steve Bannon, CO of the frigate Hubbard and second in command of the convoy, he would become a household name following the war with the critically acclaimed bestseller and blockbuster about his experiences on the convoy. Its experiences were merely one of hundreds, run during WWIII to resupply the beleaguered NATO forces in Europe, Africa, and South America.

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    Formed in March 1989 in Newark's Elizabeth Marine Terminal and Brooklyn's Red Hook Container Terminal, FQ-B2 was composed of 28 ships varying from massive car carriers to small feeder ships. Loaded to the brim with military equipment for arriving US forces and as replacements for those lost in battle by all nationalities involved. The Hubbard was one of twelve escorts of the US, Royal, and Canadian navies (five frigates, three corvettes, three destroyers, and a cruiser) set to bring the convoy safely to Amsterdam. With air cover to be provided from the USS Enterprise and the recaptured Lajes Air Base in the Azores, the hope was that the powerful anti-submarine component and its supply of missiles would keep the convoy intact and largely protected till reaching the southern coast of Ireland.

    Battle plans never survived contact with the enemy. Only seven miles south of Halifax, a torpedo significantly damaged one of the destroyers. It was forced to turn back to Boston for repairs, but luckily the Hubbardand two corvettes used their helicopters to sink the sub involved before any merchants were threatened. P-3 Orion anti-sub aircraft screened the convoy to the edge of their limit, and nothing further occurred. The British attack boat HMS Trafalgar was dispatched to help screen the convoy of skunks (hostile subs), but it was eighteen hours away.

    With six hours until their sub support arrived, a Soviet wolfpack began hounding the convoy once they reached the Grand Banks. Comprised of five nuclear-powered attack boats centered around the Akula, two merchantmen were torpedoed and lost, as well as one frigate. The destroyer HMS Cochrane sunk one that didn't manage to escape quickly enough, and Trafalgar got another once it arrived forcing the rest to break off, but both Bannon and the convoy commander felt that more subs were waiting closer to Europe for another opportunity.

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    The wolfpack had informed the rest of the Soviet Navy of the convoy's location, causing STAVKA to decide on a bomber raid. Fifteen Tu-22 Backfire bombers left the Kola Peninsula on their well hewn route, refueling over Iceland. Guided to the convoy by the same recon bombers that won the Soviet Union the battle of the Norwegian Sea, they released thirty missiles and banked away before any carrier fighters could intercept them. A flurry of SAMs raced to intercept, but FQ-B2 wasn't one of the lucky convoys assigned an AEGIS ship. Six missiles got through and smote five merchantmen - and the USS Gridley, the command ship, with all hands. Bannon now found himself in command of a severely weakened convoy, down three escorts and seven merchantmen.

    Pressing on, the convoy managed to reach 200 miles off the Irish coast without any more losses. However, waiting for them was a large wolfpack of eight subs (seven Soviet and a Polish boat). They were positioned in a scattered semicircle and were hunkered down to make as little noise as possible, hoping for an ambush on the merchantmen. It almost worked. Not as well trained, the Polish sub fired at one of the pickets before the semicircle could snap shut. A frigate was lost but the convoy was on to the trap. Bannon immediately ordered the merchant ships to scatter southwest - the Soviets likely would expect them to break for the Irish coast, and heading back towards the ocean was the best option. Helicopters filled the air as the escorts searched for the subs while the subs searched for the merchantmen. Three more merchantmen were sunk, joined by two escorts while the shepherds struck back and took three subs. Luckily for Bannon, a French attack boat arrived and took out another sub, while Hubbard scored a second kill. The soviets scattered, and the convoy limped into Amsterdam two days later having lost ten merchantmen, six escorts, one escort damaged, and three merchantmen damaged.

    Hell is Blue would become an international bestseller in 1995, and the 1998 film version would win Best Picture, Best Actor for Kelsey Grammar (as Bannon), Best Supporting Actress (Kate Winslet as a Soviet bomber pilot), Best Original Score (for John Hinkley), and Best Visual Effects. They would also make Bannon a minor celebrity in the United States, something for which he would put to good use.

    -----------------------
    “Target tank, ten o’clock! Sabot!” Grabbing a shell from the blastproof locker in the rear of the turret, Rubio slammed it home. “Fire!” The two tanks fired simultaneously; the T-80’s round passed a yard to the right, impacting with a now wrecked Volkswagen sedan. The US shell however, hit the Soviet vehicle right at the joint between its turret and body, sending the turret flying twenty feet into the air. H. R. McMaster grinned. “Got em’!”

    Although by the shift in artillery fire the Soviets were concentrating their push to either side of the city, that didn’t mean they weren’t trying here, far from it. A troop was getting hit hard; it had already lost a fifth Abrams to BMP anti-tank missiles, McMaster’s unit down to eight working vehicles. They had thought Prague was a hellhole - the new offensive into Germany made it look like a walk in the park. He patted the tank’s side armor in respect; the thick layer of steel, Kevlar, ceramic, and depleted Uranium had stopped two shells.

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    Through the periscope, McMaster could see the ant-like figures of the Soviet infantrymen, scuttling forward in the snow as low as possible. “Chambers, hit em’ with the machine gun!” The gunner wasted no time, the coaxial 7.62mm chattering. Unbuttoning the hatch, McMaster leveled the .50 Cal and added it to the fray. Ivan ducked their heads down, trying desperately find cover in the snow.

    Several streaks of fire shot from the infantry. Closing the hatch, he watched as the warheads impacted in the already smashed to hell factory. “Anyone hit?” he hollered in the radio.

    “We got one,” replied a Staff Sergeant commanding 2nd Platoon. “We’re good, but the gun’s all bent out of shape. We’re combat ineffective One-Two.”

    “Keep engaging with the machine gun; if you’re ok to move, stay in formation with the rest of us, out.” Peering out the vision slits, he heard the battalion commander call to him over the radio. “Mustang One-Two reporting.”

    “Roger Mustang One-Two. Heads up, enemy aircraft inbound for your location. Suggest you boogie, over.”

    “Copy actual, One-Two out.” Roland rubbed the bridge of his nose, his mind racing at the speed of light. This was the moment of decision. The fortification at the factory was nearly impregnable. The second alternate position in a clump of trees and a small commercial center half a mile back was good,

    After about three seconds of judging the possibilities, he made his decision. “Mustang, this in One-Two; fall back to Position Charlie, on the double. Singh, get a move on!” Singh didn’t need to think twice, pulling the throttle as far back as it would go. The troop, followed by the surviving infantry, bailed out just as Sukhoi strike jets leveled the place. At this, McMaster noticed the lead echelons of Soviet tanks swarm like roaches toward the burning building.

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    Hunkering in a grove of pines, McMaster was down to six operational tanks. However, they weren’t out of the fight, as evidenced when Chambers decapitated a T-72; the tank knocked the tread off a T-80 when the crackle of static announced the Battalion commander. “Change of plans Mustang One-Two, fall back to map square J-14, over.”

    Roland couldn’t believe his ears. J-14 was an emergency defensive line centered twenty kilometers to the west. Orders were to use it only if Ivan broke through. “What are you talking about command?”

    “Russkies broke through north of Hannover; entire left flank in danger of being overrun. Division is sending Apaches in zero-two minutes to provide cover, so if you see any mobile flak, take ‘em out.”

    “Roger that, One-two out. Copy Mustangs, Ivan broke through to the North. Jets inbound to provide cover for withdrawal to J-14, so take out anything that could house flack or SAMs, out.” He switched off the mike before the inevitable stream of profanity came in. “Identified, ZSU fifteen hundred meters, eleven o’clock! HEAT! Fire!” Rubio loaded the round. Chambers depressed the trigger, turning the mobile flak gun to a twisted heap of scrap metal.

    From behind him, the roar of the five Apache gunships could be heard even from within the armored carapace. A wave of Hellfire missiles and flachette-equipped Hydra rockets blanketed the former position. “Reverse! Let’s get out of here!” Taking one last look at the smoldering town, McMaster wondered if it was going to be like this for the rest of the war, one endless retreat.

    --------------------------
    Despite the commencement of hostilities over five months before, the Soviet Union viewed the main thrust of the war being into Germany. It was not only military necessary (offering the only flat trajectory to the Atlantic as opposed to the mountainous goings through northern Italy due to the Alps), but also the focal propaganda point of the entire Warsaw Pact. The very casus belli was the “Neo-Hitlerite regime” in Bonn. Fear of Germany and the Germans ingrained in the Russian DNA, it was imperative that the USSR take out the Free Empire in the massive campaign set for May 1989. Marshal Akhromeyev christened it Operation Konstantin, and the Politburo gave it their blessing following the fall of Prague and Vienna.

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    Imperial German Tanks near Hannover.

    It called for a five-prong assault: 1) north into Schleswig-Holstein to capture Hamburg and Denmark, 2) Into Hannover to reach the mouth of the Rhine, 3) the main thrust through the Fulda Gap to the Rhineland with the bulk of the 4 million ground troops allocated for the invasion, 4) an attack from Thuringia into northern Bavaria, and 5) a drive through the Sudetenland to Munich and Baden-Württemberg. This was considered fait accompli among NATO high command. Colin Powell had ordered full defensive measures taken since the Border Battle, on top of the efforts by the Frey Government taken since their election two years before.

    Gerhard Frey and his defense team of Defense Minister Helmut Kohl, and Supreme Field Commander Gert Bastian knew that their country would become the supreme battleground. Along with the massive military buildup, both state workers and volunteer labor battalions went to work constructing an intricate wave of defenses from the eastern border to the west. When tensions flared into worldwide mobilization, Frey ordered the evacuation plan, the slow shuffling of German citizens away from the battlefields to safe zones west of the Rhine. When war arrived, NATO was fully prepared to wage defensive war. A taste of it was acquired in the East German assault on West Berlin in February. The German defenders fought hard and fanatically, inflicting over five to one casualties and dragging the battle from a projected two days into three weeks of pitched urban combat.

    The operation was precluded with a massive air campaign. Dating back to Khrushchev, the USSR had invested in a massive strategic bombing force – with the various arms reduction treaties kyboshing many nuclear units, the bombers involved were redirected to conventional strikes and would be a common feature in the battles over Europe. While fighters and strike aircraft dueled with NATO forces for control over the German and Italian skies (and largely gaining air supremacy over Norway), the bombers used bases in Kola, northern Norway, and the Ukraine to assault France, the UK, the low countries, and the boot of Italy. London, Paris, Rome, Manchester, and Birmingham were hit the hardest owing to their industrial capacity, civilian casualties mounting in the tens of thousands.

    Finally, on May 2nd, the sheer firepower of the Red Army was unleashed on Germany. Saturating the ground with high explosives and every manner of poison gas, crack Shock units and tank divisions advanced into the meatgrinder. The going was slow in the face of insanely tough NATO resistance, the only quick victories being the capture of Zealand via airborne/heliborne assault and reaching the outskirts of Hamburg all within a few weeks. Slowly but surely, the Summer of Blood would find the Western Front under Boris Gromov advancing through the churned up and poisoned soil. Casualties were astronomical, fanatical Germans using the built-up nature of West Germany in ferocious holding actions in which carpets of corpses had to be expended to take. The going was better nearer to the sea, less well-trained Dutch and Belgian forces forced back to west of Bremen (which fell in June) and to the Rhine itself (August). Russian/East German attempts to cross at Arnhem were repulsed with heavy losses to both sides, though Soviet artillery began shelling Amsterdam.

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    Soviet artillery firing upon American positions outside of Frankfurt. The city would become a scene of fanatical resistance.

    To the south, the push against Bavaria was far lighter. Nearly 30% Polish/Hungarian in strength, the Warsaw Pact armies were able to use more maneuver tactics in the wider spaces, but still took heavy casualties. Nuremberg fell on the 31st of May, while Munich held out in an intense house to house melee until a tank division essentially destroyed itself to break through the American lines at Freising. By the end of August, the southern prong had reached Baden (Stuttgart torn apart in a stalemated carnage) while the all important center prong had spilled rivers of blood to reach the eastern Rhineland.

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    While the headlines across North America, Britain, and Asia were apoplectic at the loss of nearly everything east of the Rhine, the situation wasn’t completely dire for NATO. Due to the overall qualitative superiority and fanatical German Imperial resistance, the Soviet advances ground to a halt at the Rhine on September 18th. No massive encirclements were made by the Red Army. Locked in a war of attrition, they suffered nearly double the amount of combat casualties from the ferocious stands made by the Imperial Army of Liberation and Dutch/Belgian forces and by wheeling counterattacks by the French, British, and Americans (Hamburg was nearly completely leveled in the fighting). Now Marshal Gromov, facing an exhausted Front and needing to rest and refit his forces, called off offensive operations on September 23rd.

    As a result, one week afterward NATO launched a counterattack with American reinforcements and Franco-Spanish troops from the victorious Iberian Front, pushing through to recapture the majority of Wurttemberg and all of Schleswig. All Soviet gains north of the Kiel Canal were wiped out, relieving pressure on continental Denmark before the forces halted due to supply concerns – the Siege of Denmark would begin, all NATO personnel in the peninsula cut off from resupply except through a constantly assaulted pipeline by way of southern Norway.

    The knew frontline solidifying, both sides geared themselves for a rather harsh autumn and winter, each knowing that the deciding course of the war would hinge on the upcoming Battle of the Rhine.

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  3. The Congressman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Good ol' USA
    “Back in the f**king jungle we go.”
    -Anonymous Marine-


    Looking to shift the initiative back to their side, the military planners in the Pentagon furiously debated their options. Hundreds of thousands were already answering the call to arms as the draft kicked in – it was estimated to peak in the millions, while the factories of Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Houston, Cleveland, and Los Angeles churning out as much equipment as possible. While Europe was a priority, nearly all of Western Europe was conscripted and the fall of Portugal opened up far more. Defense Secretary George Bush ordered hundreds of thousands of troops to Venezuela and Colombia to stop the Brazilian offensives, but those would take till the fall to arrive in enough strength to make a difference. The White House and Congress were demanding a victory similar to how the fall of Portugal and Zambia gave hope to NATO forces in Europe and Africa respectively. Bush was determined to give them one.

    With a Marine Expeditionary Force kept in the Pacific for emergencies, the Pentagon decided on the isolated Warsaw Pact nation of Ecuador. Ruled by a Communist government since its election in 1973 (though it wouldn’t go fully communist until after Brazil fell in the Focoist coups of the mid-decade), under Peruvian pressure from the south and full Colombian offensives in the north, only massive support via airlift and combat presence from Brazil kept it afloat. Surprisingly for the hardcore Warsaw Pact nations, it had an unpurged, professional officer corps under the command of General Richelieu Levoyer that managed to halt the Colombian offensive in its tracks barely forty miles into the country. With Peru too preoccupied on the Lake Titicaca front to launch anything but border skirmishes, it seemed as if Ecuador would survive.

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    US Navy bombers assault communist positions in Ecuador. Warsaw Pact planners didn't take into account the sheer amount of aerial firepower the US would deliver upon the small nation.
    All of this would be lost on July 1st as naval strike fighters and bombers swarmed over the skies at Quito and Guayaquil. They were joined by a special flight of Valkyrie long range bombers that smashed vital military and transportation facilities after the relatively meagre – compared to the ring of air defenses surrounding Moscow, East Germany, Tehran, or Buenos Aries – Ecuadorian SAM net. The bombings and airstrikes would continue for two full days until naval gunfire from the battleships USS Iowa and USS Missouri hit what coastal defenses existed at Manta and Salinas. This preceded the largest amphibious landing since Haiphong, over 20,000 marines under General William Peers landing. Inland, the 82nd Airborne Division under Maj General Carl Stiner duplicated D-Day and peppered the coastal farmland north of Guayaquil with a further 18,000 troops. General Levoyer and his Brazilian counterpart Carlos Lamarca immediately vectored in as many troops as they could, hoping to smash at least the airborne forces before they formed up, but it was too late. What southern forces left managed to escape the advancing Peruvians only to be besieged by the 82nd at Guayaquil while the Marines forced the rest into the central mountains.

    By the 15th, only eleven days since the landings, things were falling apart. Peers and the Marines were advancing on Quito, joined in the north by blitzing Colombian forces under the aging General Gabriel Gordillo. Fortifying the forested mountains and volcanos surrounding Quito, Levoyer hoped to hold out long enough for Brazil to send reinforcements. He had the feeling that all was lost, but the Politburo refused to surrender and ordered him to fight house to house if need be regardless of civilian casualties. Not wanting to get dragged into urban combat, the US/Colombian forces instead moved to surround the town. Using their advantage in airpower and artillery, howitzers, helicopters, napalm-armed strike fighters, and AC-130 gunships drowned the Ecuadorian hardpoints in blankets of fire. Gas was used, but the Marines would avoid any civilian areas like the plague when deploying it. It was hard going for the Marines against ferocious Brazilian counterattacks (Lamarca’s detachment being the fanatical Focoist paramilitaries), but as on Iwo Jima they steadily gained ground. On the 27th, the last mountain strongholds fell and Quito was surrounded. General Gordillo, without consulting the Americans, issued an ultimatum for Ecuadorian forces to surrender or he would batter the city with artillery.

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    Penned in on two sides and unable to match America’s naval airpower, Ecuadorian resistance collapsed after the loss of the highlands, the news that Guayaquil had fallen to the 82nd, and the threat of artillery barrage. Many top communists within the politburo and military wished to melt into the jungle and conduct a guerrilla campaign, but General Levoyer wouldn’t have it. On the 28th he and a battalion of his best troops stormed the governmental compound and placed the mass of the Communist Party under arrest, assisted by Interior Minister Rodrigo Borja Cevallos. Proclaiming himself interim President, Cevallos joined with Levoyer to ask General Peers for a ceasefire, which was accepted. One week later, Cevallos would sign Ecuador’s unconditional surrender to Secretary of State Dick Cheney and Colombian President Álvaro Gómez Hurtado. Ecuador joined Zambia and Portugal as the first three Warsaw Pact states to fall.

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    The Battle of Antofagasta had raged since April. While the Argentinian invaders – supplemented with the Uruguayan Army and a significant Brazilian component – had the advantage in numbers, the loss of over a quarter of their territory hadn’t damaged the Chilean war effort. With the high crags of the Andes sparing the industrial heartland of Santiago/Valparaiso and its military being the best equipped and best trained in all of Latin America (drawing comparisons to Israel), President Augusto Pinochet was able to survive the Warsaw Pact armored blitz that lost them the Atacama region. Hemmed in by the inhospitable terrain, General Mario Menéndez had no choice but to assault the city directly. Capturing it would open up the roadways to move south. However, four months of furious assault had seen only 2/3rds of the city captured, tens of thousands of casualties largely for nothing.

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    Armed with US equipment, Chilean forces defend a strong-point outside of the city.

    As Antofagasta turned into the “Latin Stalingrad,” General Ernesto Crespo of the Argentine/Bolivian/Brazilian Cusco Front had largely consolidated control over the Lake Titicaca region. Juliaca fell into communist hands after a lengthy siege in March. The offensive resumed in April, consuming most of the available resources and manpower following the capture of Atacama. Aiming for Cusco, the main armored forces were divided into two prongs, the largest advancing from Lake Titicaca through the Andes Plateau against furious Peruvian opposition. A second mainly Brazilian force hit along the inland plains further to the north, catching President and Chief of Staff Francisco Morales-Bermúdez off guard. Significant reserves were poured in to stop the assault, but not after the Warsaw Pact managed to get within ten miles of Cusco by July. This Peruvian shifting of forces came at the expense of the coastal defenses, in which the third prong took huge successes in reaching as far as Chala before being halted. Overall, the Warsaw Pact lost 200,000 in casualties while Peru only suffered 80,000, but the latter was the clear loser.

    Chile’s terrain meant that Augusto Pinochet and his military commanders didn’t need to use much to guard the nation’s borders. Only fifty thousand needed to fight in Antofagasta and a further twenty in reserve around Santiago, 150,000 soldiers and 300 armored vehicles under General Humberto Gordon launched Operation Pinto on April 17th, 1989. From bases in the south they invaded deep in to Argentine Patagonia. Piercing through like knives through butter, Tierra del Fuego fell completely by May 1st, the major naval base at Rio Gallegos falling two weeks later. Winter and Argentine reinforcements halted Gordon at Puerto Santa Cruz but the victory was already notched.

    With over 400,000 military forces still yet to be committed, Pinochet and Minister of Defense José Merino planned an ambitious agenda as winter fell over the southern hemisphere. An expeditionary force of 150,000 was dispatched to Peru, which was still reeling from the Warsaw Pact offensive. Chile’s navy ruling the Pacific coast (joining American naval assets in ferrying supplies to Lima and providing naval fire support along the coast), the expeditionary force was fully unloaded by August. Meanwhile, crack mountain troops that had prepared for nearly a decade advanced through Andean blizzards to pierce the Argentine border defenses north of Santiago. Racing to take advantage of their complete surprise, Chile scored a decisive victory when they reached the outer boundaries of Mendoza, Argentina. Panic ensued in Buenos Aires, but they managed to utilize the slow trickle of Chilean reinforcements to divert reserve forces to their western border. The Battle of Mendoza was on.

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    No one among the defense/diplomatic experts of the west expected China or India to enter the war on behalf of the Warsaw Pact. Indira Gandhi likely wanted to, but her government was locked in a political power structure between herself and her son Sanjay (who wanted to avoid this war like the plague). Meanwhile, Jiang Qing had allowed favored trade status for the USSR but did not want to risk China’s separate sphere of influence. Therefore, Australia was one of the few Anti-Warsaw Pact Alliance belligerents not under threat whatsoever by their enemies. Both John Howard and Bob Hawke took advantage of this by dispatching a sizable military force to the Middle East to help their beleaguered allies. Numbering 150,000 strong, the ANZAC Expeditionary Force wasted no time in transferring from Aden to the frontline. Debating between reinforcing Iraq or the battered Jordanian military, General Donald Dunstan factored the size of the Saudi-Iraqi host to choose Jordan.

    After the capture of Haifa, Syrian forces went on the defensive in Israel and concentrated their summer offensive on Jordan. If they could capture Amman and cause the Hashemite Kingdom to collapse, Hafez al-Assad reasoned he could attack Israel on a much wider front. With the Australians fully in place opposing them, Syria launched their offensive on May 17th. Expecting an assault from the Irbid and Daara regions, Assad caught the ANZAC/Jordanian defenders off guard by making his main avenue of attack the eastern deserts. They overran Jordan and entered Saudi Arabia, taking Al Qurayyat before a scratch Yemeni/Omani force stopped them in June.

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    ANZAC machine gunner fighting in the arid scrubland of northern Jordan. "It felt like home," recounted one soldier, "Just with too many Arabs shooting at you."
    Never intending to stay on the offensive there, the Syrians wheeled around and attacked west and south. The goal was the city of Zarqa, which would put them in a good position to surround Amman. They gained ground, but far slower due to the furious Australian resistance. Dunstan took overall command, directing the Jordanians to hold north of Zarqa while the ANZACEF fought a fighting withdrawal in the desert east of the city. The Syrians nearly broke through twice, but quick maneuvering by the ANZACs along with counterattacks by New Zealand forces and Israeli armored reinforcements under Lt. General Ehud Barak managed to allow retreats in good order. Come September, the Amman Salient from As-Salt, bulging out at Zarqa and tapering down to Amman Airport, had formed with over 200,000 Syrian and 180,000 Alliance casualties spilled since the offensive began.

    Preparing for their own summer offensives, Iran nevertheless was suffering from determined Kurdish guerrilla activity. Taking a page out of the British Boer War handbook, in the Spring months they rounded up thousands of Kurds and congregated them in packed camps centered around small towns dotting the mountainous landscape, far from the vital supply routes. When this didn’t work as well as they assumed, the Iranian high command sent in Massoud Rajavi assume control of the anti-partisan efforts. Supreme commander of the People’s Mujahedeen paramilitaries, Rajavi was known as nothing but a brutal thug. Within three weeks of his appointment, this was confirmed as he demonstrated to the Kurdish partisans exactly what he would do if they crossed him.

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    Within minutes of the first shells falling, thousands of civilians were already dead. In total Rajavi took credit with ten thousand dead, while Red Cross estimates put it at north of 15,000. While the leadership in Tehran shrugged it off, most of the Warsaw Pact was horrified at the senseless casualties. Saddam turned it into a propaganda goldmine, framing Iran’s leaders as genocidal madmen and holding a military trial for Rajavi in absentia, the court sentencing him to death. The Tudeh Party became synonymous with genocide in the west, and any Kurdish support for the regime collapsed overnight. Succeeding in ending attacks on Iranian supply convoys through the border regions, the Kurds elsewhere stepped up their partisan campaign. In Iran, the Kurdish leaders declared their independence from Iran only a month after the massacre, forcing a diversion of forces to suppress the rebellion.

    With the cat out of the bag, Saddam Hussein abandoned all restraint himself. No chemical weapon was too brutal or destructive, the Iraqi army and their Saudi allies hurling their own VX stockpiles with abandon at the Iranian military. One upping everything, the Iraqi Air Force launched an air assault on the Abadan refinery complex on June 20th with Sarin-filled cluster munitions. While developed and modified since the 1950s, air-dropped gas had never been used in combat before even as the world erupted in war. With massive damage and over 15,000 casualties, the Abadan raid changed that in full. Iran followed up by using their entire strategic capability in a massive strike on Kuwait City on July 2nd. VX bombs rained down and saturated the capital, resulting in over 100,000 civilian deaths – included in that total was the Emir and his immediate family. Chaos reigning and with the Iranian armored juggernaut smashing through the frontline, Saddam acted quickly and essentially took over the country. He appointed his second son, Qusay, as the military governor to stabilize the situation. Most anti-Warsaw Pact Alliance nations saw this as concerning, but there was no time to spare to deal with Saddam.

    Meanwhile, things were no less brutal on the frontlines. Iran finally captured Basra in a bloody urban campaign that lasted two months, while armored spearheads would be halted just two miles outside Kuwait City by the Iraqi Republican Guard. On July 17th, Saddam was reported to descend into a blind fury after Tikrit – his hometown and fortress city that had withstood three separate Iranian assaults in the spring and early summer – finally fell. The cream of Iran’s armored forces then stormed across Mesopotamia. General Ali Sayyad Shirazi wished to cross the Euphrates and take the several cities of Anbar Province to prepare for an encirclement of Baghdad (agreed to by STAVKA), but General Secretary Golsorkhi was too exultant about victory and enraged by Saddam’s Abadan raid to tolerate anything but a direct attack. The armor continued south, Baghdad its goal.

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    Iraqi soldier in his gas mask outside Fallujah.
    Iraq had not been idle. In fact, they were moving like madmen to prepare the capitol for a bloody street fight. Saddam emulated Stalin by refusing to evacuate Baghdad, every man that could fight being given a gun or a spade. General Maher Abd al-Rashid and Republican Guard Commander Saddam Kamel (Saddam’s son in law) were in charge of the defenses, and were determined to make Baghdad the Middle East’s Stalingrad. Anchored in a narrow front between Fallujah on the Euphrates, the city itself on the Tigris, and Abu Ghraib in between, the western approaches were turned into a fortress to lure Iran into an urban fight – which happened in August. Saddam unveiled a new surprise for Iran when it tried to break through Abu Ghraib. Fifty thousand soldiers of the Fedayeen Saddam, trained as crack shock troops by Uday Hussein, counterattacked and routed the Iranian spearhead. Shirazi, unable to cross the Euphrates, was forced to attack Baghdad itself as the only way forward.

    Given the ANZAC Expeditionary Force’s involvement, Gen. Dunstan was heavily involved in strategy. He realized that operating piecemeal would only result in superior numbers overwhelming them on either side. The AWP Alliance needed to concentrate on either Iran or Syria, and used his position to leverage a meeting at Aqaba of the Alliance powers. They gathered at the low key meeting: Dunstan, Saddam, Tariq Aziz, Defense Minister Prince Fahd or Saudi Arabia, French Foreign Minister Robert Badinter, Prime Minister Rabin, and one surprise guest: President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. Ever since the fall of the UAR and the massive defeat suffered at the hands of the British and Israelis, Sadat had ruled with an iron hand. Pro-western, he repudiated pro-Soviet Nasserism and pulled Egypt back from the brink into a regional powerhouse once more. Given Sudan to the south and the danger of the Aswan Dam being targeted, Sadat did not wish to risk a war and remained a pro-Alliance neutrality, but Saddam and Fahd managed to convince him otherwise.

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    Secret to all but the participants and the higher echelons of the American and British Governments, Sadat agreed for Egypt to enter the war in October 1989. Additionally, aside from Baghdad and Kuwait City the Middle Eastern Alliance powers would subscribe to a doctrine of “Syria First,” breaking the Ba’athist nation before turning their full might on Iran. France, due to the intense lobbying of the Front National grand coalition partners, would also send a military force for an operation that remained classified. Everything was set for October, and all that needed to be done was for Saddam and the ANZACs to hold the line till then.

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    Following their defeat by the Italo-British army at Padua, the Warsaw Pact regrouped at the Treviso-Venice line and spent most of the spring and summer waiting. The front was static, clashes between the 1st Balkan Front and Army Groups Venetia and Lombardy only escalating to pitched battle once - the second attempt by the Soviets to capture mainland Venice. Taken during the first offensive but lost during the NATO counterattack, the battle raged through most of April before the last Italian defenders in the Porto Marghera finally surrendered. Marshal Konstantin Kobets wished to follow up with a full offensive to storm the Po Valley, but was denied by STAVKA in order to concentrate on Operation Konstantin.

    This breathing room allowed General Goffredo Canino and Field Marshal Peter de la Billière to further prepare their forces. With the available ground hemmed in by the Adriatic and the Alps, the plan called for Padua to be turned into a fortress city while a fighting withdrawal occurred to its north. Such would bleed the Warsaw Pact enough to allow another successful counterattack that could recapture Venice and throw the Soviets back over the Yugoslav border. The arrival of six Spanish divisions, three British armored brigades, and the first of Italy's reserve armies bolstered the confidence of the NATO defense. Intelligence indicated that no Soviet reinforcements were arriving to augment Kobets' motley force of Russian, Kazakh, Uzbek, and Yugoslavian divisions, all being diverted into Germany for the titanic battles north, further adding to the confidence felt in Rome. However, the KGB and Securitate pulled off a coup of their own, keeping NATO blissfully unaware of the slow transfer of 350,000 crack Romanian troops under the hero of the Greek campaign, Vasile Milea. Kobets and Milea made use of the summer lull.

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    British tanks racing to the front to try and stop the Soviet advance. Such impromptu bridges were often demolished as the Red Army charged forward.

    The intelligence failure by NATO would reap the whirlwind on August 11th. Soviets in the south, Yugoslavians in the north, and Romanians holding the center, Kobets launched Operation Ivan Grozny (Ivan the Terrible). After only thirty minutes of artillery and air bombardment, Warsaw Pact armor surged forward. Instead of the main effort being directed at Padua to cut off the entire NATO salient into Venetia as NATO had planned for due to the Russian presence by the coast, instead the main thrust was by the unseen Romanians out of Treviso. Milea's plan was less audacious, but far more unexpected in cutting off an Italian corps and most of the Spanish by capturing Bassano del Grappa and trapping them against the Alps. Not anticipating the elite Romanians to be their opponents, the Italian reserve divisions broke and one week later, Milea had reached his target. Several Italian divisions managed to escape, along with 2/3rds of the Spanish force thanks to a determined stand by the 1st Parachute Regiment led by Maj. John Roland (who assumed command after his CO was killed) that bought them 24 hours - Roland would receive the Victoria Cross for his actions. Milea still trapped 29,000 NATO forces, who would surrender on September 1st.
    The Romanian blitzkrieg was only the beginning. Knocked back, the Italo-Spanish-British defenders were forced to retreat time and time again. Every day in August and September brought new Warsaw Pact gains. Milea captured Vicenza in a three day brawl on August 29th. The Soviets then broke out of Venice and moved to flank the British defenses at Padua, forcing Maj. General Rupert Smith to order a withdrawal. Trento fell unexpectedly to Yugoslavian mountain forces, but took such high casualties that any further movement in the Alps was called off. Disaster struck again as the Romanians and Kazakhs took Verona and Mantua in mid-September, causing Rome and London to sack Canino and de la Billière, replacing them with Bonifazio Incisa di Camerana and Richard Swinburn respectively. While Prime Minister Burlinguer was petrified of the Soviets targeting the industrial hub of Milan and Powell feeling that this was an attempt to bypass the Rhine to attack France, both Di Camerana and Swinburn (legend had it that John Roland, in meeting with the new commanders upon his promotion to Lt. Colonel, gave them the idea) thought that Kobets instead planned to move south into Italy proper. Ordering the newly arrived Spanish III Corps into reserve in Tuscany, they were proven right when the still largely full strength Russian forces drove hard for Bologna. For three weeks, the Russians battled with the Anglo/Spanish defenders, ending on October 2nd in a bloody stalemate.

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    Forces exhausted and with the upcoming Battle of the Rhine taking center stage, Kobets and Milea called off further offensive operations, settling into a frontline that stretched from Ravenna through Bologna to Parma, and then north to Brescia. With the Spanish Army arriving in force, Italy rushed into full wartime economy as they prepared to fight for their very survival.

    The Siege of Athens had been raging since the beginning of 1989, the Bulgarians shelling the city back to the stone age while the desperate Italo-Greek defenders held on to tie up as many Warsaw Pact troops as possible. Also trying to hold on to the Peloponnese, the Royal Navy would brave air attacks, Black Sea Fleet submarines, and Bulgarian artillery fire to bring in needed supplies to Pireaus harbor and get the wounded and civilians out. Athens became the modern age version of Leningrad, food tightly rationed as the Greek defenders under Agamemnon Gratzios conscripted thousands of civilians into labor battalions and militiamen to hold the line. Every day brought further thousands of civilian deaths from starvation or shelling. The Bulgarians and their Soviet liaison Brig. General Anatoly Kornukov were content to starve the Greeks out, but the Romanians and Marshal Kobets demanded that Athens and the Peloponnese fall so that the bulk of the Bulgarian Army could reinforce them in Italy.

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    What transpired - post-war documents proving that it was approved by Defense Minister Demichev himself - was considered to be the greatest war crime since World War II. A full three squadrons of Soviet strategic bombers sortied over NATO-held Greece. Within were specially designed chemical cluster bombs, each filled with 300 Sarin-gas bomblets. Athens, Pireaus, Sparta, Corinth, and Kalamata were hit, fifteen thousand soldiers and 125,000 civilians killed in the ensuing catastrophe. Greece would never be the same again, the "Great Raid" etched into the national consciousness as was the burning of Athens by the Persians.

    The bombings made their situation untenable. Bulgaria began to assault the lines to take Pireaus, and had exploited the gas bombing to break through at Corinth. Gratzios, Italian commander Lt. Gen Corcione, and the Greek government choosing to withdraw completely from mainland Greece. As the entire Royal Navy and Italian Navy in the region moved to evacuate, 3,000 Greek forces stayed in Athens to hold the Bulgarians back, and they would be crushed to the last man - falling into legend as were the 300 at Thermopylae.

    Immediately the Black Sea Fleet took position of Pireaus Harbor to deter any NATO attack. Free Greece setting up in Crete, the fall of mainland Greece allowed the Bulgarian Army to be dispatched to Italy.

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    By the end of Summer 1989, the United Kingdom had fully geared up for world war. The situation in the Atlantic had largely stabilized with the fall of Portugal, and military commitments in Germany and Italy were being steadily reinforced and replaced. Aside from the Falklands (under occupation) and Guyana (threatened by Brazilian attack through Venezuela or Suriname), no British territory was in danger of being assaulted directly by the Warsaw Pact. Their commonwealth allies were a different story. Many African former colonies in a personal union with the Crown were being invaded by the Soviet’s African allies. As a result, Prime Minister Colin Mitchell submitted what he called the “Distribution Strategy” to Brussels and Washington. In layman’s terms, with other allied nations clearly contributing enough manpower to the main frontline in Central Europe, Britain would serve the Anti-Warsaw Pact Alliance cause better by distributing their newly raised divisions to the far-flung fronts desperate for crack troops. Watching the other fronts disintegrating for the most part due to Western involvement in Europe, Rumsfeld, Bush, and Powell threw their influence to the plan. As a result, the rest of NATO accepted the commitments.

    The first British reinforcements to arrive were in Norway. Narvik having fallen after a protracted siege in June, the Norwegians were overjoyed at the two British divisions sent. Since the Soviet forces involved were second strength mountain infantry from the Tajik and Georgian SSRs, the offensive to Bodo was put on hold. Further reinforcements were sent to Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast (for the liberation of Ghana), and the Greek Islands in preparation for the liberation of Greece at an as of now undetermined date in the future. However, the first pitched battle for the DS British forces was in South America.

    Since the October of 1988, the British kept 30,000 troops based near Georgetown, Guyana to ward off attacks on the Commonwealth Dominion. That worry was confirmed when Brazilian forces assaulted along the coast of French Guyana to the east. After blowing up every road between the jungle interior to block any Brazilian flank attack, the British forces joined the French colonial army in the battle of Paramaribo, Suriname. 55,000 NATO troops faced 80,000 Brazilians along the narrow front, thick jungles and the Suriname river blocking any real movement aside from directly forward.

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    Royal Marines clearing out a village of Brazilian forces.
    This state of events lasted until September 10th, when the first British reinforcements arrived. Only instead of heading to the frontline via Georgetown, they entered the fray immediately. After the Royal Navy task force of one VTOL aircraft carrier, three cruisers, and eight destroyers defeated the Brazilian Navy off the coast, 15,000 Royal Marines landed directly at Cayenne itself. Defenses were light, the 7,000 Brazilian defenders stunned by naval gunfire and air support from Monserrat, surrendering after a day’s fighting. Another 5,000 Royal Marines would land at the mouth of the Maroni River, marching overland and taking the Brazilian supply center of Saint-Laurent on the 12th. Overnight, the Brazilians had an entire army cut off. Another 10,000 infantry would reinforce the Marines, holding strong in the Third Battle of Cayenne during the first week of October as the Brazilians attempted a breakout. Seeing no other choice, Lt. General Carlos Tinoco Ribeiro Gomes surrendered to the Franco-British forces, ending their invasion of European South America.

    Biafra was reaching complete defeat by October. Despite having built up their defenses for years and equipped their forces with the best oil money could buy, the intense human wave attacks by the communist Nigerians had simply overwhelmed them in most places. Pushed to the breaking point, they geared up for the final stand at Port Harcourt – their largest city and home to millions of refugees fleeing the looting, burning, and raping communists (hatred intense for the breakaway province for being prosperous while they starved, the Nigerian commanders essentially ordered the worst of human rights abuses by their men). Every man and boy able to fight was handed a gun and sent to frontlines, a massive series of bunkers, trenches, and tank traps constructed to amplify the geographical advantages of the many waterways. Needing Biafra to hold out, Westminster dispatched a sizable expeditionary force of 100,000 men under Lt. General Charles Guthrie to reinforce the 700,000 Biafran defenders – a number that would increase to 300,000 against an attacking force of 1,500,000 Nigerians across the entire coastline.

    The Nigerians – bolstered by two Cameroonian corps – launched their tried and true tactics, using intense artillery fire followed by human wave attacks to break through the Anglo-Biafran lines and swarm the breaches. However, the fanatical Biafrans and firepower-intensive British made them pay for the offensive in blood. MLRS rockets, napalm, and carpet bombing runs by Avro Vulcan strategic bombers out of Ascension Island greeted every Nigerian attack before even reaching the well-defended fortifications. For two weeks of fighting in which only ten miles had been gained, Nigeria suffered over 200,000 casualties. Port Harcourt hadn’t yet been reached, and more and more supplies poured in through the massive dockyard facilities on Bonny and Yellow Islands.

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    Coastal mists helped mask the Royal Navy activity in "the Little Dunkirk."
    Meanwhile, the Royal Navy executed their global reach even where the Army wasn’t deployed. One sizable operation occurred in the Commonwealth Dominion of Aden. With Ethiopian forces slowly battering the French/Somali defenders of the Djibouti pocket, 50,000 Allied troops were in danger of being wiped out and Admiral Michael Boyce refused to let that happen. With naval gunfire and intense air support from Aden as cover, whatever naval and merchant ships in the region managed to evacuate all but a rear guard of 5,000 out of Djibouti – dubbed the Little Dunkirk, it would boost allied morale despite the loss of France’s mainland African outpost. As a result, French Maj. General Jean-Claude Coulon received permission from Paris to transfer his command to Kenya to be part of the force to finish off Ethiopia.

    Meanwhile, fighting all across Africa was heating up. To tighten the noose around Kinshasa – stubbornly holding out – Congolese and Gabonese units invaded Portuguese Angola but were stopped at Cacito by determined resistance. In West Africa, Anglo/French/African forces invaded Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry out of Sierra Leone and Senegal. Underequipped and battling opposition rebel groups, the communists quickly lost the major cities and melted into the jungle to fight a guerilla war. In Ghana, attempts to invade the Ivory Coast and capture Abidjan were routed by British/Ivorian forces. In the ensuing rout, the Alliance would advance as far as Kumasi before being halted.

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    With supplies and modern equipment stretched thin, the various African armies improvised.
    As October changed into November, the coastal fronts of Africa would quiet down as a battle of titanic proportions would gear up deep inland. Stockpiling arms for months, Sudan and Ethiopia were finally ready to launch their long-awaited offensive to capture the Ugandan capitol of Kampala. Idi Amin, Barack Obama Sr., and Mobutu Sese Seko vowed to stop them by any means necessary.
     
  4. The Congressman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Good ol' USA
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    "The Grim Reaper is busy this winter."

    -Anonymous-​

    Brazil had broken through to the Orinoco River Basin early on in the war, but logistical issues had halted the advance in its tracks. Venezuelan counterattacks hadn’t gained any ground but did prevent them from advancing till the summer of 1989. Even then, the severe logistical issues and the pressing needs of the Peruvian Front prevented the Brazilian Army from deploying its overwhelming numerical advantage until better supply networks were hacked out of the jungle. In October there was enough buildup for them to go on a general offensive into Venezuela – but the beleaguered Venezuelan military obtained significant reinforcement in the time that passed.

    While the European Theater came first, President Rumsfeld paid keen attention to the fight in South America. The Soviet raids on the East Coast were fresh on everyone’s minds, and making sure the Caribbean stayed an Allied lake was a top priority. Since the spring and summer tens of thousands of US troops began pouring in through the ports of Cartagena and Maracaibo. Under the command of famed Vietnam veteran General Hal Moore – and joined by significant Mexican and Nicaraguan divisions – they merged with the Venezuelan Army under General Elidoro Guerrero into a combined force under Moore’s command. Spaced out wide along the Orinoco basin, they were still stunned by the sheer amount of troops Brazil had brought to bear.

    Targeting big with twin objectives of Caracas and Merida, Brazilian commander Antonio Bandeira coordinated with the Raposa Army under Maj. General Leonidas Goncalves in eastern Venezuela to march on Ciudad Bolivar. While not as thick as in Europe, the air battles were substantial as the light Brazilian forces charged from the jungles and fought across the river. While their armor was light, to counter the American MBTs plenty of anti-tank missiles were supplied to their troops, and to avoid being swarmed Moore drew back plenty of times. He could afford to, with over 150 miles of space between the Orinoco and the major Venezuelan cities. Using the light units of the 10th Mountain Division and the 1st and 2nd Cavalry Divisions to good advantage, he kept the Brazilians from running amok. In the east, the Mexicans and Nicaraguans put up a solid fighting withdrawal to Ciudad Bolivar.

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    It was at Calabozo where Moore planned his stand, Guerrero and Maj. General Hugh Shelton leading their forces into a determined counterattack against Bandeira’s spearhead. Meanwhile, a smaller force under Brig. General William F. Garrison and Lt. General Jose Maria Peraza met a light Brazilian corps under Octavio Julio Lima at the village of Bruzual on the Apure River. On November 21st, under heavy rainfall, the two sides battled each other in the muck. Gas was next to pointless due to the weather, as was rapid maneuver, so each force relied on full frontal assaults to crack the nut of the defenses or attacks. Calabozo was mostly a draw, but at Bruzual Garrison used the far superior American all-terrain armor to flank Lima’s force. If he hadn’t had to cross the Apure, then the Brazilian force would have been crushed. It took five days of retreat and pursuit until Garrison finally surrounded the Brazilians at Eloriza, forcing Lima to surrender.

    With the disaster in the west, and news that Mexican General Gerardo Vega held firm against Goncalves’ attacks at Ciudad Bolivar, General Bandeira decided to withdraw completely before his force was cut off on both sides. Over the next month, under cover of rain and the exhausted Allies, Brazil pulled its forces out of Venezuela and destroyed all the road and rail links through the thick jungles. Boa Vista and northeast Roraima Province would fall to the Mexican-Nicaraguan pursuers, but they could go no further – enraged, Carlos Marighella had Bandeira arrested for defeatism and demanded a resumption of the invasions. When told that it was impossible and the Allies couldn’t invade that way either, he calmed and ordered all remaining army units not needed elsewhere to the North Chilean and Peruvian fronts. If his northern flank was secure, then Brazil would fight for world socialism elsewhere. However, he didn’t imagine that the north could be threatened in a different manner…

    Meanwhile, General Moore received his orders from Washington. His victorious Army was to assume command over the marines and airborne units in Ecuador and would then be transferred to Peru. South America would be liberated, by whatever the cost.

    Well into its second month, the Battle of Baghdad was descending into a fair approximation of hell. Other than several spoiling attacks on Fallujah, the Iranians concentrated their forces into the urban landscape. Wave after wave of bodies were thrown into the streets under cover from strategic bombing and chemical attacks. Saddam had declared not one inch of ground was to be surrendered, and the Iraqi ground forces – supplemented with old men and young boys drafted from the civilian population – made Iran pay with blood. Fresh Saudi reinforcements and Saddam Fedayeen shock troops counterattacked whenever possible backed up with their own gas and airstrikes. General Shirazi used every tactic he could to take the city without annihilating his own force, focusing on the East Bank of the Tigris and Saddam International Airport to surround the central city. He would use artillery to saturate enemy strongpoints with nerve and pulmonary gasses, assault troops armed with modern flamethrowers advancing afterwards to capture the poisoned rubble (the tactics were soon shamelessly copied by all powers). By October nearly three fifths of the city had fallen, but then disaster struck.

    Syrian offensive forces had launched attack after attack on Zarqa and Amman, trying desperately to break through the defenses. Israeli ground commander Ehud Barak remained on the defensive, forcing the Syrians to drive them out with bullet and bayonet for every inch. Flanks were well protected with crack Israeli mechanized units that bore the brunt of the assault (the drumbeat of anti-Semitic propaganda out of Damascus increased as the war progressed). Many were worried that the Warsaw Pact would break through, but on October 9th all worries turned out to be for naught. Egypt, having moved troops slowly over the last several weeks to the front, declared war on the entire Warsaw Pact. Aside from a small attack into Sudan to protect the Aswan Dam, the entire opening offensive was concentrated on the north as General Hosni Mubarak and Barak broke through Syrian lines in the Galilee and east of Zarqa. The resulting collapse in pushed the front back to the Golan and to Jasim and As Suwayda, Syria, Assad losing over 80,000 men as POWs.

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    What convinced Shirazi to halt offensive operations was disaster for the Syrians. Having pulled tens of thousands of troops out of Occupied Lebanon to halt the Egyptian-bolstered Alliance counterattack, the remaining garrison troops in Beruit, Tripoli, and Tyre were overwhelmed when a sudden wave of fire from naval artillery and airstrikes hit them on October 24th. Fifty thousand French soldiers and Marines under General Michel Roquejeoffre – supported by the French Mediterranean fleet and elements of the Italian Navy – hit the beaches and captured much of the Lebanese coast within a day. The Syrian garrison withdrew into the mountains to halt them, but being short on manpower they could only delay the coming disaster.

    Assad ordering all Syrian forces out of Iraq to save Damascus from falling, STAVKA ordered the Iranians to cease the attack on Baghdad and send a force to Syria to help their ally. Iraqi forces launched a partial counterattack that drove the front back to the southern bank of Lake Terthar and captured thousands of Iranian rearguard troops, securing Baghdad completely for them. Moscow also dispatched a core force of 200,000 Russian and Ukrainian Motor-Rifle troops, to bolster the Iranians. Promoted to command the whole front, Shirazi planned a new offensive in the spring – this time in the south.

    Forming a significant chunk of the Allied defenses were the South African Expeditionary Force and the Rhodesian First Army, a motley connection of mixed-race units that challenged the majority view of the white republics as racist hellholes (Rhodesian units were about 70% black while South African units were 30% black with a further 5% Indian component). Despite his reputation for racist views and a distrust of their nominal ally, the Entebbe Pact defenders reluctantly allowed General Magnus Malan to assume command of the entire war effort thanks to his distinguished record and pressure from the rest of the Anti-Warsaw Pact Alliance. Facing down the juggernaut, Malan wanted to attack with all he had but was disconcerted at the numerical superiority. Initially unsure of whether Nairobi or Kampala would be the target, upon the communist offensive he had shifted the bulk of his South African/Rhodesian forces prepositioned to move to either front to bolster Mustafa Adrisi’s Ugandan 2nd Army. Just as the repositioning was complete, the communists had reached the Kampala exurb of Wobulenzi.

    Wishing to mollify his erstwhile allies, Malan had selected the SAEF’s commander with care. Lt. General Themba Matanzima was a former Umkhonto We Sweze guerilla that had switched sides when Nelson Mandela was pardoned. Rapidly rising through the SADF, he had distinguished himself in the invasion of Zambia and thus was entrusted with the command. Determined to prove himself and his race (many in the hardline white factions back in Pretoria balked at his appointment by Malan), he and Adrisi coordinated their defense in the flat terrain as a series of withdrawals and local counterattacks that bloodied the Ethiopians and Sudanese. Marshal Abate siphoned in more men, especially from the flanks and his reserve of allied national units, and sent them into the meatgrinder. Over the next two weeks, they slowly but surely closed in to within two miles of the Ugandan Capitol. Idi Amin, holed in his Entebbe Palace, demanded Malan counterattack at least five times a day but he was content to follow Matanzima’s strategy.

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    Matanzima had planned well – with the approval of Malan, the commander had left the Rhodesian forces under General Peter Walls on the eastern flank in Kenya, largely unused despite being the elite of the Allied army. While Adrisi wished for the Rhodesians to assault the weakened inner flank of Abate’s army, Matanzima planned something far grander. On December 1st, Walls smashed through the weak Cameroonian defenders at Eldoret, Kenya, quickly taking Kitale within a day and advancing hard into the Upe Plains of northern Uganda. Meanwhile, Lt. General Deogratias Nsabimana broke through light Sudanese defenders at Fort Portal and advanced rapidly as well. The communist forces were too slow to react, resulting in the two armies meeting at Kigumba on the 3rd. Desperate to escape, Abate and Sudanese commander Omar al-Bashir threw themselves at the Rhodesians and Ugandans. The Allies blasted them with firepower until blood ran red, but before they could take any casualties themselves they would withdraw and allow the main spearheads to withdraw. Orders from Matanzima were to preserve their forces after the furious losses in the south, and by the time the vice closed for good, only 75,000 troops were left in the pocket south of Lake Kyoga. President Tafari Benti would order the Ethiopian forces to hold at all costs, and as December ended they still stubbornly refused to surrender.

    In the gap between Operation Konstantin and the new offensive the Soviets were planning, over three dozen divisions were moved to Germany from STAVKA’s strategic reserve or from garrison duty along the Far Eastern or Central Asian borders. Significant partisan activity from the fanatical Werwölfe guerillas hampered Warsaw Pact movement – and East Germany was in a constant state of unrest due to pan-German sentiment within them – but Marshal Gromov left such problems to KGB occupation troops. As the commander of the Western Theater, his concern was with breaking through the Rhine River defenses and hopefully capturing Antwerp before winter set in (essentially the same as the WWII Battle of the Bulge on the German side). Four million Soviet troops readied themselves, joined by over 800,000 Polish, East German, Slovakian, and Hungarian troops. Facing them were equally built up Allied forces, a melting pot of soldiers in the German Rhineland: 2,500,000 Germans, 800,000 Americans, 200,000 French, 200,000 Belgians, 150,000 British, 100,000 Canadians, and 70,000 Dutch (the vast majority of French, along with significant German and American forces, were in central Wurttemberg). General Powell had overall command of all Allied forces, while the division of power left German Generalfeldmarshal Gert Bastian facing off against his Soviet enemies once more (bearing a scar on his arm from a Red Army bullet) as commander of Army Group Rhine.

    With the largest concentration of troops since WWII, the Soviet plan relied on three objectives: first, the tying down of Allied troops in the core Rhineland cities of Essen, Dusseldorf, Duisburg, and Wuppertal; second, the capture of Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, and Heidelberg; and third, smashing across the Rhine in the center and driving on Belgium and Luxembourg. On October 10, over 80,000 artillery pieces opened up along the narrow front with a mix of conventional and gas rounds (counting the Allied counterbattery fire, official figures found that the Battle of the Rhine would employ the largest volume of poison gas in the history of warfare), Marshal Gromov commenced Operation Kutuzov. Above, the Soviets gained slight air superiority over the slice of the frontlines as the skies were filled with dueling planes – including the F-15 fighter of Kaiser Georg, completing his military service for his Empire and obtaining 13 total kills during the battle. The north Rhineland was swarmed with Soviet troops under General Dangatar Kopekov, assaulting the Belgo-Dutch-German-British lines and taking murderous casualties – many units forced at bayonet point by KGB and GRU military police to advance through Essen and Wuppertal - while the Allies were stretched so thin that many German units were forced to use stockpiles from the 50s or even WWII. This force was largely comprised of Central Asian, Tatarstan, and South Caucasus conscripts, the vast majority Muslim, and considered expendable by Kryuchkov, Demichev, and Akhromeyev. Marshal Gromov would reportedly vomit upon getting the orders to send them to their deaths, but he carried out his orders.

    With significant Allied forced tied down in the north Rhineland due to the minority division sacrifice (over 800,000 casualties sustained by them alone), General Sagadat Nurmagambetov assaulted Frankfurt and Darmstadt directly with his Russian, Kazakh, Polish, East German, Hungarian, and Slovakian units. Opposing them were German units under Generaloberst Ulrich de Maiziere and the French armored contingent led by Jacques Massu. Mostly devoid of civilians, Frankfurt would become a chemically poisoned version of WWII Berlin as determined French and fanatical German resistance faced off against Warsaw Pact forces fueled with a sense of pure revenge on their hated enemy. Even as Heidelberg and Wiesbaden fell, Frankfurt stubbornly held on. Marshal Gromov and General Sergey Solokov would use this opportunity to assault across the Rhine in mid-November, using the bulk of their elite 5th Motor-Rifle Army, 1st Guards Army, and 2nd Shock Army along the narrow Bonn-Koblenz-Wiesbaden front. Facing against the American 3rd Army under General Norman Schwarzkopf, Cologne was surrounded and pounded into submission on November 11th, the Imperial German capitol of Bonn on the 12th, Aachen on the 20th, Bitburg on the 24th, and finally Maastricht on the 27th.

    All of free Europe and North America were in a panic, General Powell preparing to shift his HQ to Paris in case Brussels became the frontline – if Antwerp fell, then only God could save the Allied cause. Divine intervention came early in November however. General Schwarzkopf’s 3rd Army met Lt. General Valentin Bobryshev’s 1st Guards Army at Luxembourg City, and German Generaloberst Ernst Kruse’s (a decorated WWII panzergrenadier veteran) 6th Army of Stalingrad fame met General Anatoli Tchernitsov’s 2nd Shock Army at Hasselt. In the two day engagements in which 250,000 total casualties were shed, the Allies were victorious. Church bells across Belgium rang in celebration, the GIs and Panzergrenadiers hailed as heroes, General Kruse being awarded his second Ritterkreuz by his Kaiser. The Soviets were forced to withdraw to avoid being encircled. 2nd Shock managed to hold a bulge of territory west of the Rhine along the Neuss-Grevenbroich-Kerpen-Bonn line. However, Schwarzkopf wouldn’t let 1st Guards escape so easily.

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    Determined to hold their bridgehead on the west bank of the Rhine, Bobryshev halted his retreat and turned around to await General Schwarzkopf’s attack in the fields and scattered woodlands west of Koblenz. Both sides poured reinforcements into the standing off forces, the Soviets boosting their strength to nearly 300,000 troops and 1,700 armored vehicles while Kruse reinforced the Americans to combine to 310,000 troops and 1,300 armored vehicles. On December 5th, a Soviet armored battalion engaged the lead elements of the American 1st Armored Division, beginning the largest tank battle in history. For three days the snowy ground of the formally sleepy Rhineland city was stained red-black with blood and smoke. Gas and high explosive wreathed the area in fire and poison, thousands of tanks dueling with each other. Borrowing a Soviet tactic from the Battle of Prokhorovka, Kruse had his Leopard tanks charge under cover from artillery and the American M1 Haig tank fire (owing to their better fire control systems) to close with the Soviets and engage them at point blank range. A-10 Warthog and SU-25 Frogfoot ground-attack fighters would earn their keep alongside heavily armed helicopter gunships, earning a fourth of all tank kills in the battle. Bobryshev attempted to outflank the Allies, only for an American battallion led by recently promoted Major H.R. McMaster to fend a numerical superior force off for nearly 30 minutes until divisional reserves were thrown in. The Battle of Koblenz would end on December 8th, both sides exhausted and fought out with 512 Allied tanks and 651 Soviet tanks destroyed/damaged in total – the Soviets had held their main bridgehead while the Allies had ended the Soviet central offensive.

    All in all, by mid-December the furious fighting that had characterized autumn was finally starting to taper off. Winter snows – forecasts were predicting it to be an unseasonably cold one – hampered even the Soviets, and their forces were bloodied and forced to rely on lengthy supply lines. While the US was just as far away, factories in the UK helped and transport by water could be in greater bulk than via rail from Chelyabinsk, Ulyanovsk, and Magnitogorsk. Nevertheless, Gromov had been massing more Central Asian, internal Russian ASR, and lower Caucasus divisions to throw into the fray for a mid-winter offensive, simply needing additional crack troops to get his main force to before-Rhine levels. The hope among STAVKA and the Politburo was to crush NATO before it could be further reinforced.

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    But then, chaotic calls for help from the Far Eastern Military District put all plans in the West on indefinite hold.

    Since the victory of the Minseito Party in 1972, Prime Minister Yukio Mishima had been hard at work reshaping Japan. The economy was booming, traditional cultural norms retained with needed modernizing reforms, and national confidence restored to pre-WWII levels. He found immense success in political reform, convincing the Emperor Showa to reclaim his godhead. Hirohito largely distrusted him though, and the real efforts wouldn’t begin until his death and the coronation of his second son Masahito as Emperor. An ally of Mishima since his rise in the early 1970s, Masahito used his clout with the people to support the 1984 recreation of the House of Peers as the second legislative house in Japan. On a 1988 party line vote in the Diet and unanimous vote in the House of Peers, Mishima restructured the State of Japan back into the Empire of Japan – normally it would have dominated headlines across the world, but the world was busy with the tensions between the great power blocs and it went largely ignored.

    However, his greatest effort was in the realm of building up the Japanese Military. After the repeal of the pacifist elements in the Constitution, Mishima and Defense Ministers Minoru Genda and Shintaro Abe – the latter succeeding the former after Genda died in 1985 – passed the Military Expansion Acts of 1982 and 1986 through the Diet and HoP. The entire pacifist officer corps was sacked, replaced by promising young commanders and skilled members of the HoP, including a dashing noble named Kazuo Yamanashi. By the time World War III began the Imperial Japanese Army, Navy, and Air Force were at the same strength as prior to the Japanese takeover of Manchuria half a century before, the industrial conglomerates churning out high quality weapons and equipment. As the Soviet juggernaut advanced through Europe, Mishima felt it was time to initiate the next step in his effort to revitalize Japan. While progress had been made, it had been his deep belief that unless he could alleviate Japan’s long-term problems with a stagnant national will and overcrowding in the cities then all progress would reverse. Still, he held out for the longest time, until a breakthrough was achieved. American SecState John Danforth (having been appointed to the position after Dick Cheney suffered a heart attack and resigned in October 1989) and Special Envoy to East Asia Ronald Reagan finalized negotiations with Mishima and Foreign Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone guaranteeing Japanese territorial gain after an Allied victory.

    Buoyed by CIA, MI6, BOSS, and Mossad reports that the Soviets weren’t expecting Japan to actually act, Mishima went to Emperor Masahito at the Imperial Palace to request consent to declare war. The Emperor, fearful of what happened to the Empire under his father – Emperor Showa – was initially hesitant and cautious, but after a long discussion was convinced to follow the Prime Minister’s point of view. Given the Imperial consent, Mishima authorized Operation Kitsune to begin, tasking Prince Yamanashi to lead the combined forces to long-awaited glory. In the evening hours of December 19th, 1989, he addressed a closed session of the Diet. The odd candidate for the leader of a resurgent empire called on his countrymen to join him in the restoration of Japan’s glory:

    To prove to the peoples of the world that Japan will never set. That Japan will never descend into the permanent darkness of a broken nation. No matter how long the night lasts, the sun will always rise! And the Rising Sun will do its part to save the world from tyranny, and bring everlasting glory and honor to our land, our people, our ancestors. Tennōheika Banzai!”​

    All but the far-left of the Socialist Party and the far-pacifists joined Mishima in a chant not seen since WWII, the vote almost unanimous. Japan was going to war.

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    The IJN sailing to battle from Hokkaido.
    Upon the declaration of war, the IJAF swarmed over Sakhalin Island – nearly 200 fighters and strike fighters overwhelmed the 40 largely obsolete Soviet aircraft (F-15Js and Mitsubishi F-2s facing off against MiG-21s and Su-15s) and pummeled the defenses there. At dawn of December 20th, 50,000 soldiers of the 2nd Field Army under General Tokikichi Arima landed at Aniva and Korsakov on the southern tip of the island. Facing off against 10,000 KGB troops and Soviet Air Force ground units, the two pincers quickly converged on Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Moving with the speed and pluck characteristic of Japanese Armies in the past, the city was taken in just an additional day of sparse fighting, 500 Japanese casualties to 2,000 Soviet. Additionally, a second landing was made with 20,000 at Poronaysk and 10,000 Naval Special Landing Forces were tasked with taking the Kuril Islands. All targets would fall by the end of December, the final Soviet garrison at Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinskiy surrendering on December 29th. In triumph, Prime Minister Mishima would personally visit the former Soviet city, renamed Toyohara as it was during the Japanese control of the island, renamed Karafuto. Arima, a garrison force moving in to take over, prepared his unit for transfer.

    While Karafuto was close enough to Japan to assault almost immediately, the Imperial General Staff still needed to deal with the Soviet Pacific Fleet. A shadow of its former self as half their surface assets and all their aviation ships were transferred west, the Soviets still possessed quite a punch with one Kirov-class battlecruiser and seven guided missile cruisers. Thus, the IJN under Admiral Binichi Murukami set sail with the massive transport fleet on December 15th from the new naval base at Hakodate, Hokkaido with the pride and joy of the Japanese Naval expansion: the fleet carriers Akagi and Yamamoto, and the fleet guided missile battlecruisers Yamato and Kirishima. Exultant sailors cheered the raising of the famous Z-Flag used at the great naval victory at Tsushima, Japan advancing once more to its place in the sun. They sailed largely out of sight until December 21st, in which a Soviet Uladoy-class destroyer managed to send out a warning before being sunk by a F-4 naval strike fighter off Yamamoto. Ordered by STAVKA to wipe out as much of the Japanese transport fleet as possible due to the serious lack of troop strength in the Far East, Soviet Admiral Gennadiy Khvatov sailed out from Vladivostok to engage the Japanese – thinking it better to fight rather than get bottled up in port and get wiped out. With ground-based fighters of the IJAF suppressing as many Soviet Air Force aircraft as possible, the two fleets met one hundred miles off the Outer Manchurian coast. The high-quality Japanese sailors and naval airmen overwhelmed the undertrained, c-list ground forces that the Soviets kept in the Pacific Fleet. Surface-hugging cruise missiles blasted past the Soviet air defenses, sinking much of the fleet and scattering the remaining ships – whatever wasn’t sunk fled for Petropavlovsk. Aside from submarines, most of whom were harassing US shipping in the east Pacific, the Battle of the Sea of Japan cleared the way for the invasion fleet.

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    Japanese mechanized forces advancing through the snows to the Ussuri River.
    Three days following the Battle of the Sea of Japan found Japanese forces launching their first military operation on mainland Asia since 1945. The Japanese doctrine called for a far more mobile, independent force structure than most western militaries. Four Field Armies comprised the initial mainland assault in Operation Kitsune, the total of 240,000 soldiers divided more or less evenly among them. Compact and trained in a combined arms, fully integrated fire support, and “Thunder Running” – a term borrowed from the Americans – the plan before them was risky but Prince Yamanashi was confident that it would end in victory. The invasion came with four main landings. The 3rd Field Army under Count Mogataru Takahashi, the largest of all four at 75,000 troops, landed east of the port of Nakhodka and quickly moved to capture the city for resupply purposes for the invasion. West of Vladivostok near the North Korean border, the smallest force of 40,000 troops of the 5th Field Army under Lt. General Raizo Ishii landed – they captured all the land up to Primorsky before encountering major resistance. And lastly were the landings of the 1st and 4th Field Armies (125,000 troops) at Preobrazheniye and Veselyy Yar respectively. Commanded directly by Yamanashi, their objective was the most important. As the others were tasked with holding the main Soviet forces in place, the 1st and 4th would cut across Outer Manchuria and sever the Trans-Siberian Railway.

    Efforts in Germany, Italy, the Atlantic, Iran, and Iberia taking priority, the Far Eastern Military District had been stripped bare for the most part. Having been up to 1.1 million at the height of the Sino-Soviet Border Crisis, in December 1989 it was a hollow husk of its former self at only 110,000 troops and largely obsolete equipment commanded by Col. General Lev Rokhiln. Against the might of the rejuvenated Japanese Empire – who, unlike in WWII, were armed with the latest and greatest in weaponry – they resorted to the defensive for the most part. However, piss poor intelligence believed that the two northern IJA landings were mere feints with only half as many troops than were there in reality. By the time that the beleaguered Soviets realized the threat to the north, Yamanashi was already through the mountains. A small holding force commanded by Brig. General Aleksandr Kotenkov at Arsenyev were overwhelmed by the Japanese on January 17th, while Lake Khanka was reached on the 28th, severing the Trans-Siberian Railway and cutting off Vladivostok.

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    The remainder of February for the Japanese was spent trying to clear out as much Soviet territory as possible. All of the past six weeks had been spent frantically building belt after belt of defenses, and with the two flanking Japanese pincers – the eastern one out of Nakhodka reinforced by General Arima’s 2nd Field Army – closing in, General Rokhlin ordered a scorched earth policy put into place and what few tank units he had left to delay the Japanese advance long enough for the remaining forces to withdraw into the Vladivostok defenses. 37,000 Soviets would clash with the 4th Field Army at Ussuriysk on Feb 9th, the tank battle raging for 36 hours before a division from the 1st Field Army arrived and scythed through the Soviets. The battle would go down as one of Prince Yamanashi’s finest victories, but over the long term it gave Rokhlin the chance to withdraw 40,000 men into the Vladivostok peninsula, anchored in the main defense line cutting through the suburb of Artem – securing the city and both the civilian airport and the military airbase on Russky Island. The Siege would begin in earnest, Japanese artillery starting its steady pounding the city on February 23rd, 1990.

    In Tokyo, the enthusiasm was palpable. Elderly veterans of the past war – both as soldiers and civilians – were as hopeful as ever that their nation would rise once more. Youth, with no knowledge of any Japan but this one, flocked to the streets and to the recruiting offices to show their support for their nation and Emperor. The IJN ferried tens of thousands of troops to Nakhodka and the Mulberry ports along the coastline of Primorsky Krai. IJNA and IJAF battled with newly arrived Soviet Air Force units on loan from strategic air defense. Prince Yamanashi and Prince Abe knew that the fight would not be as much of a cakewalk as before, tensions with China increasing as their longtime enemy shared a land border with them for the first time since the Second Sino-Japanese War. STAVKA reassigned General Anatoly Kvashnin from Germany to command the entire Far Eastern Front, hundreds of thousands of reinforcements pouring into Irkutsk, Blagoveshchensk, and Khabarovsk as efforts shifted from Vladivostok to the next stage – the drive to the north.

    [​IMG]

    PARIS HIT
    -Buckley News Network-
    December 31st, 1989

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    Reports are live from the City of Lights, the sky is filled with a different kind of light as Soviet bombers have launched a nighttime raid upon the French Capitol. Casualties are high and damage is extensive, explosions all around us. BNN military analysts report that the attacks are consistent with cluster munitions being used. We will stand by with further... [scuffles, dust obscuring the camera as loud explosion fills the screen].

    -------------------

    “BURN THEM ALL! THEN LET SATAN BURN THEM AGAIN!”

    -John G. Schmitz-


    A blizzard had blanketed Moscow when General Secretary Kryuchkov called a meeting of the full Politburo on December 24th, 1989. The situation wasn’t at a nadir, but no one was happy with the reversals of the Fall and Japan’s entrance in the war. A sizable faction led by former General Secretary Vladimir Semichastny appealed for a negotiated peace, feeling that they could make major gains while crippling much of NATO’s might. Including the initial anti-war faction, many candidate members of the Politburo were siding with Semichastny. With the American sleeping dragon fully awakened, fear of a grinding war of attrition and the rumblings of discontent starting to sprout up concerned them. All in the Politburo had seen Alvaro Cunhal’s body swinging from the noose in Portugal – many subconsciously stroked their necks in fear.

    But the committee members that controlled the voting membership of the Politburo believed victory was in their grasp. The reversals were minor, and had left the Allies with significant damage. A new set of offensives in the New Year would win the war – all the Warsaw Pact had to do was to break the spirit of the Allied nations. Use their abhorrence of wars of attrition against them, their casualty aversion to force them to the negotiating table on the USSR’s terms. Pyotr Demichev and Grigory Romanov had reserved the massive Soviet strategic bomber force for exactly such a campaign – with the massive arms reductions, the need for bombers in nuclear deterrence was not vital. The Politburo agreed with the hardliners, and the Second Blitz was born.

    The Second Blitz began at 10 PM on December 31, 1989. After staging a false flag assault over the Netherlands with crack fighter squadrons – even winning a victory by shooting down 21 NATO aircraft to losing 15 of theirs – 100 Tu-95 Bear, Tu-22 Blinder, and Il-28 Beagle bombers entered France through neutral Swiss airspace. Escorted by long-range MiG fighters, their target were the industrial north and populated center of Paris. France was caught off guard by the attack, and the city was largely undefended due to this and the scarcity of SAM launchers (western doctrine called for smaller, tactical SAMs close to the front and a reliance on airpower for strategic defense). Long unused air raid sirens blared as the subdued yet festive New Years Eve celebrations devolved into chaos. The Soviet bombers unleashed their destructive payload of incendiary napalm and cluster bombs upon the civilian heart of the city. The destruction was massive, the old-style nature of the buildings providing less protection than more modernly built ones would – despite taking a near hit, the Eiffel Tower would just barely survive sheer collapse, and the Arc de Triomphe would get a large chunk blown out of it. After the bombers departed, a second wave of 15 Tu-160 long range bombers arrived with a payload of Sarin nerve gas bombs, adding to the chaos in the wee morning hours of New Years Day. In total, the Soviets lost 11 bombers to a total of over 100,000 Parisian dead and a further 200,000 wounded.

    A world stunned and devastated by the sheer callousness and depravity of the Soviet assault, an enraged France would hurl every strategic aircraft it had into a Jan 5 revenge attack. Unable to muster the numbers to smash through the Soviet air defenses, they targeted the Yugoslavian city of Belgrade instead, hitting it with napalm and gas. Forty thousand civilians would die in the French retaliatory strike. On Jan 11, the Soviets would launch a second strike on the French city of Lyon, adding another 35,000 dead.

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    Soviet Bombers flying over the North Sea during a mid-February raid on Glasgow.
    And so began the progression of the Second Blitz. Cities all around the world were hit – starting with Barcelona on January 17th. One city would be hit on an average of one or two a week, long range bombers hitting cities far from the front lines while strike fighters such as the MiG-27 and Su-24 striking cities such as Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, and Arhus close to the front, as well as one on Tokyo. The tactics were simple, cluster and incendiary munitions (sometimes high explosive) initially while the rear bombers dropped poison gas at the tail end of the chaos to maximize casualties. As the west began shifting interceptors and SAMs to the front, the Soviets began using Scud ballistic missiles taken out of nuclear use. Naples was hit with the first wave of VX bomblet scuds, killing 33,000 after evading the SAM nets. As a result, President Rumsfeld would authorize the prototypes of the Patriot anti-Missile missile rushed into production and shipped to Europe. Losses among the Soviet bomber crews were horrendous, but most were among the hoarded elderly models and the untouched Ural factories kept churning more and more out. In a daring raid on May 1st, 200 Tupolev Backfire, Badger, and Blackjack long range bombers took off from bases at Anadyr as a diversionary raid was launched on Japan. While Anchorage had been hit in March, the rest of North America was untouched. This would change as the bombers slammed into the West Coast, hitting Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. American fighters took out 70 Soviet bombers but the damage was done, the gas, napalm, and cluster bombs killing 250,000 and injuring over twice as many.

    The most destructive raid would be the June 5th raid on London. Using a route from the Kola Peninsula through Iceland and the North Atlantic to avoid as many radar detection stations/aircraft as possible, the 125 Bear, Bison, and Badger bombers smashed through the deficient Irish air defenses and gunned for London while fighters drew RAF interceptors with a feint at Dover. Each bomber was armed with the Soviet triple threat, though shortages of Napalm led he main incendiary fuel to be white phosphorous instead, but several of the Bisons were armed with special “Bunker Buster” bombs with the goal of smashing through to the London Underground emergency air raid shelters. The tactic would cause massive casualties – a total of 60,000 dead – but two bunker busters from the bomber of pilot Yevgeny Vetrov would have an outsized impact. The first would smash through the road directly behind 10 Downing Street, while the second impacted in the same general location, entering the protected bunker of the Prime Minister’s residence. By the time firefighters cleared the debris, Colin Mitchell was found among the dead.

    [​IMG]

    Flags were at half mast in every Allied nation, while there was silence out of the Soviet Union. Aside from several zealous leaders such as the Brazilian and Iranian communist governments, the usual exultant media releases from STAVKA weren’t forthcoming due to the death of Prime Minister Mitchell. In Westminster, the national government met to elect a new leader for the wartime crisis. Many were considered: Margaret Thatcher, Michael Heseltine, Edward Heath, and even Roy Jenkins as a compromise, but only one contender emerged as the wartime consensus. Someone who would send a signal to the abysmal morale of the British people in the wake of the death of the popular Mitchell that victory would still be theirs. Defence Secretary and grandson and namesake of the last wartime Prime Minister: Winston Spencer Churchill. Ascending to the podium to cheering members of the House of Commons, Churchill the Younger delivered his own famous lines to contrast with Churchill the Elder.

    “Britons will never stop fighting. We will never cut and run. And by the grace of God, upon the end of this war the Iron Curtain will be nothing but a pile of molten slag as the communist empire burns under the white-hot flames of freedom and justice! Victory will be ours!”
    Paranoid at heart, much of the obsolete aircraft in the Soviet arsenal had never truly been gotten rid of. Old jet bombers, propeller-driven aircraft designed after World War II, and retired strike aircraft were dusted off, already supplied to the far-flung fronts and tossed into the fray once the Blitz expanded to the Third World in February. Cities far less sturdily built, Bogota, Lima, Jiddah, Abu Dhabi, Dar es Salaam, Abidjan, and Benguela were saturated in firestorms by March. But the biggest “war crime” would occur in Asia.

    Enraged at South Korea for resupplying Japanese forces in Outer Manchuria and for allowing the United States to use bases on its territory, General Secretary Kryuchkov himself ordered the Ides of March Raid. Coordinated with strikes on Oslo, Manchester, Algiers, Nairobi, Cairo, and Santiago, 115 bombers used Chinese airspace to assault Seoul. Completely undefended and not even expecting the attack, the densely populated city was completely devastated. Intense growth prior to the war’s end had left many buildings sloppily built, many homes and urban dwellings still made out of traditional Asian materials. The resulting firestorms rivaled the firebombing of Tokyo in destructive power, VX and Tabun bombs scything through the innocent. 270,000 South Koreans would die, the highest number in any single airstrike in human history. As a result, the Asian Tigers of Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Commonwealth of Malaya, and the Philippines would join South Korea in declaring war on the Warsaw Pact, joining Japan on the Far Eastern front.

    Since the war’s beginning, any disagreements between factions within the Iron Curtain had been forgotten as patriotic sentiment caused them to unite in winning the war. However, with the sheer brutality and indifference to human life shown in the Second Blitz, with nearly nine million dead and counting, over 25 million rendered homeless, many of the divisions began to secretly resurface. Now, the questions whispered in hushed tones revolved around not if the Soviet Union could win the war, but whether it should.

    In the west, the Second Blitz turned what was already significant anti-Soviet sentiment into outright hatred. Bombings in the past were considered a painful necessity with smashing enemy industry, but the Soviet attacks – especially given the use of chemical weapons – were seen as deliberately targeting innocent civilians. Calls beginning with the enraged rants of John G. Schmitz engineered into full on calls for the USSR to be turned into an irradiated wasteland, especially after the American West Coast was hit in the first real wartime devastation of the North American mainland since the Civil War. Calls to nuke the Warsaw Pact were resisted by President Rumsfeld, and he managed to restrain himself from ordering an attack on the USSR itself. Joining with the only other main strategic air power, the UK, air commanders knew that the sheer belts of Soviet SAM defenses would only prove ruinous to any retaliatory strike. While the higher echelons at the Pentagon and the White House knew that technology would eliminate this problem, a different strategy was developed initially.

    The USSR was impregnable at this point. Its allies weren’t.

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    USAF B-52 heavy bomber unleashing payloads of bombs that it would have taken whole flights of planes to unleash in WWII.

    On March 21st – in retaliation for the Ides of March Raid – 350 B-52s and B-60s of the 12th Air Force, along with 50 RAF Avro Vulcans and new Hawker Sidley Highlanders took off for South America. The targets were Recife, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires. Chemical weapons were banned on use against civilians by orders by President Rumsfeld (an order duplicated by Prime Ministers Mitchell and Churchill), the bombers were loaded with high explosive, cluster munitions, and incendiaries. To suppress the SAM systems, Wild Weasel escorts out of Guyana and French Guyana were combined with an innovative idea by 12th Air Force commander Chuck Horner to use AC-130 gunships in a direct SAM suppressor role. The idea worked like a charm, and the bombers unleashed their payload of death on the unsuspecting South American cities. 500,000 people would die in the American retaliation, the slums of each city suffering Dresden-like destruction.

    With all restraint given up by the Soviets, the Allies gave up restraint as well. The immense numbers of the USAF and RAF were joined by the other Allied air forces in raining death upon the cities of the Warsaw Pact. Lagos, Nigeria would take the cake with 200,000 single deaths from RAF immolation, while South African and Ugandan assaults on Addis Ababa would utilize mass use of VX gas to kill 140,000. In South America, all restraint was eliminated as Brazil/Argentina dueled with Chile over how many cities each could flatten, burn, and poison, Tupolev Badgers taking on Avro Vulcans as nearly every major city with a population of over 100,000 became the victim of at least one air strike. Though many would cheer, President Rumsfeld would sum it up: “It seems that to survive, humanity has lost its soul.”

    But as the running joke among NATO military leaders put it, “One Soviet general ran into another Soviet general on the grounds of the Eiffel Tower and said, ‘By the way, who won the air war?’” Both STAVKA and Brussels knew the war would have to be won on the ground and the seas. Powell and his fellow commanders planned an initial strategy of focusing on the far flung fronts first – to knock out the Soviet allies first and then concentrate overwhelming force against the Soviets. Meanwhile, Demichev and STAVKA planned the exact opposite. They would strike everywhere with massive numbers, overwhelming NATO and securing victory. But with discontent brewing on the Home Front, time to press the advantage was dangerously short.

    With the air war heating up, Mikhail Gorbachev had been working around the clock to convince China to enter the war on their side. He had given up on India as hopeless, given Indira Gandhi’s worsening physical condition and Sanjay Gandhi’s anti-Soviet attitudes, but felt that convincing Jiang Qing would be a much smaller hill to climb. Things had been impossible for much of the war. Qing and her allies in the politburo were dead set on not antagonizing the United States. They had carved out a sphere of influence in Asia and knew that regardless of who won they would be in a prime position to expand that influence. This calculus changed when Japan entered the war.

    The People’s Republic had been petrified of the tide of rearmament by the Minseito government since Mishima was first voted into office, and was one of the only nations to react intensely to the recreation of the Empire of Japan. Anti-Japanese riots had filled the streets, and many within the PLA wanted to declare war on Japan to take advantage of World War III. Qing had rebuffed this, but the realities of Mishima’s positions left China no doubt that if the Allies won then Japan would annex Outer Manchuria. China couldn’t allow this, and negotiations began to enter the war as some sort of co-belligerent against Japan only (Kryuchkov was fine with this, knowing he could essentially outsource the Far Eastern front to China), but that idea was wiped out when the Asian Tigers entered the war after the Bombing of Seoul and America’s deployment of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force to Outer Manchuria. They may have had gotten away with it before, but not now. Formal declaration of war would bring NATO’s wrath, something Qing needed to avoid at all costs.

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    PLA unit marching during a May Day celebration. The hope in Beijing was that a border conflict would cause the Allies to halt Japan or risk bringing China into the war.

    However, young Col. General Chi Haotian – commander of the Shenyang Military Region – brought forth an idea. Essentially a resurrection of the Korean War strategy, if China could send a smaller but substantial force as “volunteers” then they could bank on NATO’s desire not to fight a war with China itself and hinder Japan. Qing liked the proposal, and the Politburo voted on April 14th, 1990 to endorse it. 350,000 soldiers under now-Marshal Chi Haotian were allocated as the People’s Volunteer Army to fight in the Soviet Far East.

    --------------------
    Elizabeth and Philip Jennings were loading out the car. Elizabeth handed Philip a map "Our target is a train station, the Center wants us to deal with it, to stop American troop movment" Philip was a bit anxious,it showed enough so that Elizabeth noticed. Looking over she spoke right to him "Don't say your getting itchy feet Philip." Phil looked right back at her "yes I am getting itchy feet,everything is tightening up, You saw Rumsfeld on TV, "We will catch these traitorous vermin who lay in our backyards." who in hell do you think he is talking about? Us that's who. Besides, look at the kids, we both know they are American as you can be, hell you know who they listen to? John Freaking Schmitzl."

    Elizabeth really hated that fact, looking around, to make sure they were out of earshot. In fact The children were out at the freedom house concert, Designed to help with the American War effort. Of course the kids had no Idea what they were doing, and that was just as well, they did not want the Paige or little Henry to know about their real jobs."I know that Philip but I can work on them, they could grow up to be Socialists,Student activists."Philip scoffed "this place doesn't turn out Socialists, Elizabeth,you know that ,I know that". Elizabeth finally just stopped"I don't want to argue about this now,let's just get the mission done." They were just about to go when the phone rang.

    Annoyed Philip walked over. "Philip Jennings,what can I do for you." A reply came almost immediately and with that their life was changed forever.

    "Hello Philip or should I say Mikhail, I am FBI director of Counterintelligence Frank Gaad, We have been looking for you folks for quite a long time, yes I know what you people are. You're the feared Directore S officers, implanted into this country in 1976 I believe." Looking to Elizabeth with his face ashened he whispered "were blown". The FBI man continued "you now have two options either come in, right now and volunteer your services to us in the FBI or get arrested, executed and never see your children again.Your choice,I have your house under surveillance so You better not leave and try to go underground. Good day to you."

    (some time later)

    Philip and Elizabeth were driving for two hours now, to a trail in the catskills. The FBI man had given very specific instructions over the phone. They were to meet here, in the ass end of no where to make sure nobody noticed this little jaunt. They finally stopped at the parking lot and just sat there in an awkward silence. It was Philip who broke that silence."I know you do not want to do this Elizabeth but we.." Elizabeth snapped back at him "You think I don't want this, what a genius you are. Yes,I do not want to betray the motherland don't you?" Philip looked back "No, I do not want to do this but you know what I want less. Dying on an electric chair with my children thinking of me as a traitor. I assume you don't want that

    Elizabeth stared right at him with a piercing gaze. Philip looked right back not blinking.Finally Elizabeth broke out off eye contact. "No, you don't." Philip got out of the car finally "then let's get up hiking, shall we." As they walked up the trail with their brief case they saw two posters, the first one showed a image of the Shining city of America being sneaky approached by a vaguely ghost like red blob, the caption below read "Defend the shining city on a Hill from the Red Menace, sign up at the nearest recruiting station." The other one had an American soldier standing over a dead bear with the words "once they get a taste of our steel they will fall to defeat." Elizabeth snorted "Why in god's name would you place a propaganda poster out here of all places, it's not like anyone is going to read it."

    A voice they both knew came out of the woods behind them, "You can thank the Boy Scouts of America for that,they were putting up posters on their latest camping trip,you know patriotism of course." It was Frank Gaad the man who was out to pull them around like puppets. With that two other men came out of the forest just behind them out of eye sight. "Could you please get into my line of sight, I don't like big threatening men who are just standing right behind me. Gaad nodded with a big smile "Now, now Gentlemen we wouldn't want to make our new agents nervous now would we?" Phillip could detect a slight bristling from Elizabeth as the agents grudgingly got into eyesight.

    Gaad noticed and smiled some more "Get used to it, Mrs.Jennings, If you don't want to end up sitting in old sparky at the federal detention center this how it's will be. Now let's get moving" As they moved up Elizabeth leaned in and whispered "we could kill him now,we would have time to get out of here before they notice he is dead and after that we could make it to an extraction point along the coast." Philip silently scoffed "that won't work and you know it, they would organize a manhunt across the area.Besides what are we going to say to the kids "Yeah we're all Russians now" they would turn us into the FBI within a couple hours and we would ruin our relationship with them forever." Elizabeth silently looked down,"I guess you're right" The FBI man turned around "please kiddies speak up for the Class, you wouldn't be doing anything such as oh i don't know planning to kill me."

    Philip stared straight back at him with a stoney look in his face"No,we know what type of power you folks have on us". "That's good, I would hate to leave two orphans,I really would." They treated the rest of the way in silence. Finally they reached the cabin. Inside were a bunch of FBI agents and a recorder. Gaad got to the table and motioned for them to sit.

    "I know you have been wondering how you were identified, well no harm in telling now since the soviets already know. The KGB command officer from South Korea, who served as your commandant at the academy,Nikolaevich Timoshev,defected about a week ago. He knows who will win this war, so he decided to get in our good graces, He spilled your names and faces. What he did not know was your informants or any other operatives. That is one of the reasons we need you. Name all of those who gave information to you on a regular basis, starting with those who knew what you were and we will see what more use we can pry out of you." Elizabeth spoke up, "First we need two things from you, One: Our Children will never know what we do and Did. Two: After this war is over we will receive financial compensation for resettlement."

    Gaad looked right at her "you are not in a position to make demands you know that right?"Phillip came back with "I beg to the contrary. We are strong enough resist enhanced methods for a long time and doing that will mean they know that the center will know that we have been compromised that is something we both do not want." Gaad looked around and finally said "you are right of course, you will get your guarantees as long as you cooperate, if you don't, we'll take you both into custody,execute you and tell your kids every little detail of your work, especially all the affairs you were having,is that clear" Philip gave the affirmative"Perfectly". Gaad nodded "good let's get started then."

    Written by @President Earl Warren

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    The new year found South America in a flurry of moves and countermoves – the US, UK, and France beginning to commit themselves (along with Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, and other Central American Allies) in full, the Communists moved to rely on the wall that was the Amazonian Rainforest while focusing their entire numerical might on Peru and Chile. Their cities were getting bombed out daily despite giving it back to their continental enemies as good as they got, and the latest Anglo-French offensive out of Cayenne had captured Ampa State and the city of Macapa on the mouth of the Amazon, but Brasilia and Buenos Aires knew that the war would be won in the Andes and such was where the focus was being made.

    Due to the dense jungles and scarcity of roads in the Amazon basin, essentially no conventional fighting occurred on the length of the border between Brazil and Colombia/Peru. No large scale force could keep themselves supplied in this region, so the fighting more resembled mass raiding parties of Brazilian irregulars, Chilean special forces, Focoist partisans, and one particular group that carved out its own special identity.

    From their formation during the turbulent insurgency in Peru, the neo-Incan Defenders of Inti had grown in size and reputation ever since. Led by the enigmatic and near legendary commander Pachacuti, they found their recruitment, supply, and support base among the poor natives and mestizos of Peru, marginalized and exploited for bodies and labor by the Criolles-dominated government (although they received significant aid from the Chilean intelligence service). Operating inside Brazil since the war started, Pachacuti and his capable commanders Guanca Auqui and Tupac Amaru III launched an extensive guerilla campaign that brought death and destruction to all of Brazil’s western frontier. Whole towns were depopulated or wiped out, resource convoys and supply lines to the Cusco front attacked constantly. However, Pachacuti wanted to engage in something… grander. One that would put the Defenders of Inti on the map. Gathering his total 8,000 troopers (50 times larger than what he started with), the Incans marched for Brazilian city and supply hub of Manaus.

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    Neo-Incan forces training in the Andean jungles.
    Emerging from the jungle on all sides in a lightning strike at night, it took only two hours for the Incans to capture the city from what Brazilian military (mainly air force) and police forces that were present. Massive weapons confiscations under both the previous military junta and the current communist governments left the 600,000 civilian residents of the city defenseless. A terror gripped the city, the reputation of Pachacuti’s guerillas well known all across the Amazonian frontier. To their credit, the Incans were on their best behavior, only displaying their ruthlessness against those that attacked them and members of Brazil’s secret police

    Not seriously expecting their jungle fortress being attacked, let along captured, Brazil wasn’t equipped to deal with the eventuality when it arrived. Essentially committing their entire force to either border garrisons, fighting the Anglo-French offensive in the northeast, or to the main fronts in Peru, Atacama, or Mendoza, Brasilia couldn’t spare much to recapture Manaus. However, barely anything was considered enough against what amounted to bandits. A scratch force of militia, green troops, communist street gangs, and largely obsolete equipment that included T-34/85 tanks bought from the USSR – including five old Su-7 ground attack aircraft for air support. Commanded by Major General Zenildo de Lucena, the force set out on riverboats from Santarem up the Amazon till landing at Itacoatiara to advance by land. Everyone was confident that Manaus would be recaptured quickly.

    Knowing Brazil was coming, Pachacuti and his commanders weren’t idle. In the weeks since the capture of the city, they essentially turned it into a fortress. Civilians rounded up and either expelled from the city or held in designated areas marked from the air, the various buildings were piled with sandbags and poured cement, strongpoints placed everywhere. Homemade explosives and Chilean-supplied C4 and Semtex were combined with scrap metal and nails into what military experts would call Scratch Area Bombs (or SABs for short). Amaru would have them placed all over the city and along any main roads leading into Manaus to slow down the Brazilian forces. As the sun set on the second to last day of February, a terminally ill old man – a coolie for the guerillas – volunteered and was offered as a sacrifice to the gods, Pachacuti himself performing the ceremony. Civilians watching it in horror, the leader pleaded to Inti that this offering give victory to his people over the communist enemy. And on March 1st, 1990, the enemy arrived.

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    General de Lucena had devised a multiprong offensive strategy to catch the guerillas off guard, given that he had more men to deploy. His main armored forces, backed up by militia and communist guards, would attack south on the main highway and through the crop fields to the west on March 1st. Then, a large portion of his regular forces would land from barges on the Amazon north bank east of the city on March 2nd. The main assault immediately took a disastrous turn when SABs wiped out a fourth of their armor before even making it into the city, immediately taking murderous losses at clearing out the strongpoints. The Su-7s proved to be the saving grace as the Incan defenders apparently had no anti-air capabilities, and modest gains were made. Hope that the landings the next day would turn the tide were high, but they were essentially a disaster. Green conscripts, the troops botched the landings and the northern bank essentially became a huge snarl of soldiers milling about in disarray. Seizing the advantage, Incan Major Manco Ruminawi took five hundred warriors and attacked the 3,000 Brazilians. For only 75 casualties, Ruminawi killed 600 and took the rest prisoner.

    On the 3rd, Pachacuti unveiled his two secret weapons. When the Su-7s made their pass at noon, he brought out several captured SA-7 SAM batteries hidden away and ended up bringing every one down. Then, at 1:47 PM, a reserve force of 1,200 that had been waiting in the jungles to the west slammed into the Brazilian flank. In the ensuing chaos, 15,000 Brazilian troops would be captured while the rest fled. In a victory that would become legend, the Defenders of Inti had held Brazil’s Amazon fortress.

    Exultant, lining up prisoners into American and Chilean transport aircraft at Manaus Airport to take to POW camps, Pachacuti had no intention of staying. Scrounging everything he could find, along with over 2,000 new volunteers from the Amazonian native population, he blew up anything of military value and escaped back into the jungle. He would become a household name in Peru, celebrated among the disadvantaged native and mestizo communities.

    Despite at long last capturing Antofagasta due to the influx of Brazilian divisions, the inability for the Warsaw Pact to break through the Chilean defenses (leading to their halt at Taltal), focused all attention to the north. Equipped with the best soviet armor and heavy weapons, the Argentines and Brazilian reinforcements reactivated the Peruvian front with a drive on Cusco, supported by Bolivian and Uruguayan levies and Shining Path partisans. Opposing them were Peruvian forces under President and Field Marshal Francisco Morales-Bermudez and the Chilean Expeditionary Force under General Jorge Lucar – reinforcing them were the Allied army under Hal Moore, comprising of American, Mexican, Colombian, Nicaraguan, and Panamanian troops. Historians would call the coming campaign the Second Battle of the Nations (the first being the Napoleonic Battle of Leipzig).

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    Argentine mountain troops celebrating the capture of Antofagasta.
    Both Argentine President Mario Roberto Santucho and Brazilian General Secretary Carlos Marighella wanted Cusco captured – the most important city in eastern Peru, taking it would open up an assault on Lima and knocking Peru out of the war. Then they could concentrate on wearing down Chile while the Amazon wall kept them safe from ground attack. Bathing enemy positions in artillery fire, rockets, and gas, the hundreds of thousands of troops pushed back the Allied defenders into Cusco itself. The battle would turn into bloody urban combat with the Peruvian defenders. Rural regions to the north and south didn’t escape the fight either, elite Brazilian forces battling Mexican and Nicaraguan divisions to the death in order to surround the city. No side would budge, causing bloody trench warfare all through mid-April.

    Conditions among the Bolivian Army were at a nadir. They were brave and decently equipped, but supply problems led to many being hungry and the Bolivian government was of a hardline form of communism that rooted out any negative feelings as treason. In the 58th Brigade, an infantry formation centered on the village of Pachaconas, the arrest of a popular Captain caused the battalion commanders to execute their Colonel and lead their men in a mutiny. While problematic, this was a disaster in the making. Opposing them were the crack American 1st Cavalry Division and the Chileans, the Allies’ best forces.

    [​IMG]
    It wasn’t apparent to either side at first that an entire Bolivian brigade had mutinied, but once Moore and Lucar weren’t about to refrain from exploiting it once the magnitude of the breach had been discovered. The 1st Cavalry Division and Chilean 12th Light Mechanized Division threw themselves at the Warsaw Pact defenders along with the mutinied Bolivians, widening the gap and allowing for over 100,000 troops to break into the enemy rear – Stalingrad all over again. Crespo and Goncalves, realizing that at any moment the Allies could turn and cut them off, put plans in motion to retreat but were undercut by Santucho and Marighella as they ordered them to hold firm and counterattack. The counterattack went in but were defeated by Chilean flank guards, Moore ordering his American units and the Chilean mobile forces to drive deeper and deeper into the Warsaw Pact rear. Then, at Espinar, their force divided. Lucar and the Chileans continued east to Juliaca, while Moore and the Americans wheeled north to complete the trap. In ten days, Crespo took the heat and ordered the withdrawal of all forces he could, and a little under 300,000 under Goncalves managed to escape before the trap fell shut.

    Crespo fought hard even while surrounded, but the scarcity of supplies only got worse and slowly but surely the pocket was beaten back and back. Finally, on May 15th, he surrendered his forces, over 200,000 going into captivity. This was only the most glaring of problems for the Warsaw Pact. The Allied counterattack had caused a general collapse, panicked units racing east as fast as they could and being savaged by constant airstrikes. By the time the front stabilized in Mid-June, only a chunk of southern Peru centered at Tacna was still in Argentine hands. To the north, Lake Titicaca had been completely captured and Chilean-American forces were on the outskirts of La Paz itself, taking the fight into Bolivia.

    To add insult to injury, after months of fighting and offensives on both sides that bogged down into trench warfare, a wide flanking maneuver by a Chilean mountain division caused a massive breach in the Argentine/Brazilian lines at Mendoza. Trying desperately to plug the gap, they were vulnerable to the renewed attack by the Chilean Home Army commander Humberto Sinclair. Their lines broke, capturing Mendoza and forcing the communists to retreat east of the Desaguadero River. To the south in Patagonia, the poor quality of the Argentine defenders allowed General Humberto Gordon to smash through the defensive lines at Puerto Santa Cruz in the fall offensive. Scything across the rocky ground, Chile managed to reach a line cutting across Patagonia from Puerto Deseado on the Atlantic to the eastern bank of Lake Gral Carrera before the first of the southern winter storms hit. Such would nearly cut off the Argentine garrison of the Falklands, isolating the newest province of the nation to potential attack.

    The new year had started with immense hope for the South American members of the Warsaw Pact. Overwhelming superiority in numbers gave them certainty in victory, but with the disaster at Cusco and the other fronts, everything seemed to collapse at once. Efforts by Pachacuti essentially caused the Defenders of Inti and other Allied irregular groups to own Acre and the western half of the Amazonas state. Cities a bombed out, poisoned mess, tension faired among the already severely repressed population. A group of disgruntled army officers attempted a coup on June 1st in Brasilia but failed to overthrow General Secretary Marighella. In retaliation, he would order a nationwide purge that resulted in over 20,000 deaths and 50,000 imprisonments. Such would cause more restrictive monitoring of potential dissidents in the other Warsaw Pact nations in South America, all on a knife’s edge. Hope was now with the allies, knowing that one more campaign season could end the war in the Southern Continent.

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    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  5. The Congressman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Good ol' USA
    "I don't like this," Jozef huffed in the cold February night. He wished he had a cigarrette for his nerves, but that would just expose him to any wanderers. They had Soviet Army uniforms and papers for that eventuality. 'We'd rather not have to use them though.'

    Grinning, Tadeusz passed him a small flask. "Take a swig of this, it'll warm you up.' The snow was falling all around them, the only noise being the soft crash of the waves against the beach. It masked their voices to anyone that could be driving on the small access road.

    The Soviet vodka rankled Jozef's patriotic sensibilities, but the burning liquid did warm him up. "To think, Tad, this was all German back when my father was a kid." The Pomeranian coast had been German, and Prussian before it, since the 1600s if his history was correct. "If the Freyists win the war, we'll probably have to give it back." He spat on the ground for effect.

    "Eh, we'll probably get back all our territory Stalin sundered from us. Fuck the Germans, but the damned Russians never truly paid for Katyn and giving us that bastard Jaruzelski. They deserve to take their lumps." A small chuckle left his lips. "Imagine Poland owning Kiev and Minsk once more."

    "That's something to drink to." Suddenly, a small flashing light came from the sea. "Heads up, there's the boat." Jozef drew out his flashlight, blinking out a signal of his own. "Do you know who this is?"

    Tadeusz shrugged. "Do you think our commanders entrust us with information? Must be someone big though." The small dinghy came into view, the two Solidarity guerrillas shouldering their AK-74s and trotting over to the beach. "If a Yankee submarine is dropping him off, it has to be a big cheese."

    Together, they helped the raincoat shrouded men pull the dinghy in. A knife blow deflated it - they'd bury the rubber boat somewhere inland, leave no trace. "Thank you, gentlemen," said one of the men.

    Jozef and Tadeusz gaped like fish, one of their idols right before them. "Chairman," stammered Tadeusz.

    Lech Walesa smiled. "Good to be back in the motherland."

    ---------------------------
    Elizabeth Jennings was driving up through the woods of Maryland,listening to the radio and that damn Nazi John G. Schmitz "You see my friends, the enemy is among us, they have made their ways into the greatest levels of our society. The wolves dressed up as sheep clothing even fooled me, I knew Charles Duluth and considered him a stalwart enemy of the red menace and advocate for freedom. This is why we must look out for more of these traitors.Ask yourself, what is your coworker doing,what are his feelings, his loyalties. Is he a good red blooded American or is he a communist? I urge you to report all suspicious activity to the FB.."

    Elizabeth shut off the radio in disgust,she hated working for the capitalists, hated it with everybone in her body, but Philip was right, The FBI had the sword of Damocles hanging over them and the Children were about as American as you could be, heck, Paige was in one of those Crusader Churches. granted it was fairly left wing on many matters including helping the poor,condemned the work the US had with those pagan butchers in South America and had actually protested nuculear weapons but still she could not stand her daughter being hooked up to that nonsense.Well they were all in now, If Moscow ever found out about this...arrangement,each and every member of the family would die very,very slowly.

    That was why she was here in Maryland,keeping suspicion away from her and Philip was imperative especially with the idiots at the FBI swooping in at a press conference to deal with Duluthe, evidently the Center had gotten freaked, so General Zhukov was calling her down here to Maryland,she would prefer if Philip was with her but he had to comfort the informants in Washington and the control officers.

    Pulling up at the house she came out and checked the pistol she hid in her vest. She may need it if she was already blown.Walking up to the house she knocked on the door. Immediately the door opened to see General Zhukov. He was in a dress suit and he motioned her in "come in, We most certainly need to talk." Elizabeth came in and she noticed the TV was on. The face of Duluth was on with the caption "Prestigious Conservative Columnist Charles Duluth charged with Espionage" the Buckley channel was on mute. Elizabeth commented "so you have been watching the news." the general nodded "Elizabeth,lets cut to the chase as the Americans say, You are in danger of being exposed. Elizabeth sat down "General, if its Duluth there's no way to link us to him. We never gave our names, adress or even a look at our car. he can give a general description of Philip but the FBI would have thousands of people to search through. We will only get in trouble if we draw attention to ourselves. "

    Zhukov brought a bottle of wine and handed it to Elizabeth. "It is not Duluthe i am worried about,well at least not in a major way, It is HOW he got caught. This may mean a leak in our organization, someone talking. We can't have that" Elizabeth kept her face,body pressure and sweat levels under control but inside she was having a bit of a panic attack "He probably slipped up,let someone in he shouldn't have."
    Zhukov looked at her quizzically "That's unlikely,Elizabeth, has your blade been dulling?" Elizabeth stiffend, genuinely offended " General, I have always been a competent and loyal servant of the Soviet Union." Zhukov's eyes narrowed "yes but Philip now, you have reported on him before, Is he less than fully committed to the cause of World revolution?" Elizabeth shookher head "General, ever since the war started, I have seen nothing but dedication to the cause,He is completely committed to the success of World Revolution." Zhukov looked at herfor a long moment,eyes trying to penetrate her very soul.

    Finally he nodded "I believe you,I just asked because ever since those...regrettable bombings many of our agents have begun to doubt the righteousness of the People's cause,I just thought that he may of been pushed over the edge. I am glad to hear he is still loyal to the Motherland.Still though,we must hunt down this leak especially with the next big operation coming up, Don't ask what that is"Zhukov added before Elizabeth could even think to ask "When we find whoever this traitor is we will have to kill him like a mad dog." Elizabeth nodded,what else could she do.Zhukov continued "In this task I assign you and Philip,I trust you shall be as competent and dedicated as a proper servant of the World Revolution." Elizabeth's mind was whirling,This was going to be...awkward as hell. "General, You can trust us to get the job done." Zhukov seemingly satisfied nodded and said "Good,now go get to serving the Soviet Union."

    As Elizabeth's car left,Zhukov thought to himself,there was something off about her. He couldn't quite diagnose it but it was definitely there. He'd have to do something about that. Luckily he could do just that, going to his desk he dialed a number "You have a mission,Watch the Jennings family,Report all movements and meetings.We cannot afford weakness or indescion. Especilly now." the voice on the other side asked "is termination in the cards?" Zhukov mused silently "No,not now at least." the voice sounded a tiny bit disappointed when he answered "Understood. It will be done."After that Zhukov hung up the phone, and poured himself a glass of wine. At least that unplesantness was done with.He genuinely did not like spying on his own agents,well it could not be helped. Their could be no weakness with stakes this high.This war was one of survival,one where their was only one choice for the Soviet Union,Complete victory or dissolution and civil war.His agents were the people who would ultimately win that struggle, the ones behind the front line, so if their was even a scent of something off they would have to be watched. Sitting down Zhukov opend a beer bottle and drank,what a buissness to be in.

    Written by @President Earl Warren

    ----------------------
    Shock had ensued in the world after the French landings in Lebanon, which quickly overran the meager Syrian defenses up to the central mountains. Talk of a new form of imperialism was dominant in diplomatic and foreign policy circles. Such talk was not off the mark. Following the British Commonwealth Dominions Act, it had been the stated goal of the National Front to build a new French Colonial Empire in this image. Their dream was turning France into a world power once more, and used the war and their leverage as the junior partner of Mitterrand’s wartime coalition to launch the invasion of Lebanon. The fact that the Christian and Shia populations of their former colony greeted them as liberators only bolstered the French thinking. But they had to win the war first.

    Since the planning of the October counteroffensive that brought France and Egypt into the fight, the Middle Eastern allies had been gearing up a strategy of “Syria First.” Defeat the weakest link of the Warsaw Pact in the region, and then turn on Iran. The French Navy – backed up by the Israelis and long-range bombers – was able to loiter off the coast of Egypt and Lebanon that the US and Royal Navies had taken over convoy duty in the Atlantic and power projection in the South Atlantic. Given the saturation of air coverage that the Allies could draw on, French and Israeli planners launched Operation Gamecock.

    In the dark evening hours of April 12th, a squadron of French attack helicopters flew unseen through the mountains of Lebanon, using the rocky ground as cover. They targeted several powerful radar stations deep in the Beqaa Valley, and wiped them all out. This allowed a wave of cruise missiles from French ships to target other radar installations, airstrips, and SAM batteries – waves of allied fighters swept in to attack whatever Syrian planes were in the air, as well as strike fighters and Handley Page Victor strategic bombers staging out of French Algeria. By the time the third wave of helicopter gunships and ground attack fighters launched their softening up sorties at dawn on the 13th, the Syrian air force and vaunted SAM net were in ruins. Essentially wiped out.

    [​IMG]
    Following the destruction of the Syrian air defense net and gaining full air superiority, Allied regional commander Donald Dunstan ordered the start of the Damascus offensive. Three prongs would advance to take the Syrian capitol. In the north, 75,000 French forces – mainly Harki and Pied Noir reservists – and 135,000 Egyptians under General Michel Roquejeoffre would smash through the Beqaa Valley and take Hama, Homs, and Palmyra to cut off Damascus from the north. Out of Daara and the Golan would advance 60,000 Israelis, 70,000 Jordanians, and 200,000 Egyptians under General Hosni Mubarak straight to Damascus to draw Syrian forces away from the main thrust of the offensive. That would be commanded by Ehud Barak and his 280,000 Israelis and the entire ANZAC Expeditionary Force would break out from As Suwayda and hit Damascus from the west. Refusing to give up an inch of ground and under orders from President Assad to fight to the death if need be, the Syrians were nevertheless overwhelmed and pushed back by sheer Allied firepower. Gas was used liberally on both sides, a hard slog in the south. To the north, the French/Egyptian blitzkrieg had more success, capturing Homs and Hama after two weeks of urban fighting. It was on April 30th that the bottom fell out for Syria as Turkish artillery opened up on the northern border.

    The left-wing Turkish government, installed ever since a coup during the mid-1970s, had been neutral for over a decade and a half. They traded with both sides, opening the Bosporus to both NATO and Warsaw Pact ships. However, with fear of the USSR growing among the populace after the fall of Greece, the government had grown increasingly under siege from public protests. Finally, a group of junior army officers led mechanized forces to occupy Istanbul and Ankara. The government was removed from office, a rightist junta of Ataturkist military commanders installed itself on April 25th. Sending feelers to the American, British, and French embassies, the new Prime Minister General Doğan Güreş unilaterally declared war on Syria on April 30th.

    Military police patrolling the streets of Turkey and crack armored units guarding the defenses along the European and Caucasus borders, two mechanized corps invaded the north of Syria. Aleppo would fall within a week, Turkish tanks gunning to meet the French at Hama. However, the final battle would occur at the capitol of Damascus itself. The Syrians had fortified the city with every booby trap, hidden tank emplacement, sandbagged machine gun nest, and landmine they had. Israel, France, and Egypt blanketed the streets with shells, gas, and air-dropped bombs as the outskirts were secured block by bloody block. It was a deadly slog, but it was clear that they would root out the Syrian eventually.

    [​IMG]
    Knowing that all was lost, Mustafa Tlass requested that he be allowed to surrender to the Allies. Secured in his bunker, President Assad responded with fury, demanding that all his soldiers fight to the death. A disgusted Tlass entered the bunker with loyal troops and shot Assad in the head, killing him and assuming the leadership of the country. His only action would be to accept the terms of unconditional surrender.

    After al-Assad’s death and the unconditional surrender, the Allies were not kind on Syria. Many demanded and forced through reparations in the form of literally anything that could be shipped out, including Israel, Egypt (never forgetting how Syria stabbed them in the back during the Yom Kippur War), and Jordan. The ANZACS quickly shipped off to the Iraqi front, while the French asserted their control. Pushed by his grand coalition partners in the National Front, Mitterrand rammed legislation making Lebanon – their former colony – back into a Franch protectorate, though it would likely take treaties post war to make official. Over the rest of Syria, they recreated the post-WWI French Mandate. Turkey, seeking a slice of the pie, annexed the Afrin and Azaz districts of Aleppo Governate (they wanted more, but were blocked by the French and their Anglo/American allies). Iran, desperate to bulletproof themselves, quickly occupied Deir ez-Zor and Al-Hasakah Governorates, but it was up in the air how long they would hold them now that Turkey was in the war.

    General Valentin Varennikov had been tasked by STAVKA to command all Iranian forces in the south of Iraq, which now included nearly 80,000 crack Soviet soldiers (mostly Russians or Byelorussians). After a short artillery barrage they smashed through the Iraqi-Saudi defenses around Kuwait City on April 17th. The Iranian forces thunder ran through the city, capturing it after only two days. Advancing in a cat and mouse blitzkrieg with Saudi and Republican Guard armored divisions, Varennikov was hoping to capture the Saudi base at King Khalid Military City and then wheel back to take the gulf coastline. He was overruled by Iranian commanders and STAVKA itself, who hoped that by taking the oil fields close to the gulf that they could cripple Allied oil production (which since the Iranian Revolution utilized pipelines to Aden or Muscat).

    Detaching a screening force to keep the Allies distracted, Varennikov moved the bulk of his forces to capture the coastal Saudi town of Khafji. If it fell, then the Saudi coast was up for grabs. Knowing this fact, Saudi ground commander Prince Khalid bin Sultan fortified the town to the hilt. The Iranians would hit the Saudi defenses head on. Having lost many of their crack troops in Baghdad or seen them transferred to the Syrian front – and the refusal of Varennikov to detach his precious Soviet reserves – the Iranians resorted to human wave attacks and mass use of gas. The city became a bloodbath, the Iranian casualties doubling that of the Saudi defenders.

    [​IMG]
    General Sajid, realizing the Iranian force screening KKMC was a mere brigade, quickly smashed through and advanced through the desert. Iranians busy in the town, General Varennikov took direct command of his Russian mechanized and motor-rifle troops to face the Iraqis head on. Neither side could claim air superiority while the ground forces slammed into each other. Sajid had the advantage in numbers, but the Soviets were better trained and held off all attacks – at grievous losses to both sides. Eventually the Iraqis backed off but the Soviets didn’t pursue. Additionally, the Saudis withdrew from the town, leaving Iran controlling Khafji. However, their victory had been a costly one. The intense human wave attacks had left their armored formations and crack infantry gutted – just as a new force comprised of Yemeni, Qatari, UAR, and Omani troops to fully reinforced the Allied armies.

    Following the stalemate at Khafji, Colonel General Varennikov notified STAVKA of the situation and requested ten more divisions of infantry and armor – such would turn the tide and allow him to either flank Baghdad and surround it or to crush the Saudi-Iraqi army before the Allies were able to move into position from Syria and outnumber him. However, STAVKA denied his request and ordered him to move to the defensive for the moment. The armor was needed for the new offensive in Europe – the infantry was needed for counterinsurgency duty. Not in the conquered territories, but in the Soviet Asian Republics.

    [​IMG]
    12:51 AM; June 1st, 1990
    New Delhi, India


    It took less than the click of the second hand of a clock. One moment his mother's eyes were gazing upon him, and then the next found a pillow obstructing their view. Teeth gritted and arms straining, Sanjay Gandhi kept a full arms-length away to avoid the flailing arms. They moved to his covered arms and gloved hands, trying to claw them off as her lungs tried in vain to suck air through the silk cloth.

    Shaantam padmaasanastham shashadharamakutam panchavaktram trinetram...

    Tears fell from Sanjay's eyes as he watched it all - so difficult that he was forced to shut them. Prepared as he was to do this, it killed part of his soul.

    Thankfully - tragically - the struggles of his mother slowly ebbed away. Her desperate attempts to wrench away his arms slackened, writhing against the pillow and under the blankets ceased. Waiting, the seconds interminably ticking away, he slowly removed it. Skin pale, eyes dilated, and mouth gaping, Indira Gandhi looked nothing like the iron matron that had ruled India since 1967. Checking her pulse, Sanjay slid off the bed, fighting sobs.

    She was dead.

    His mother was dead.

    He had killed her.

    For India. For the greater good.

    Composing himself for ten full minutes, eyes rimmed red with tear streaks down his cheek - genuine, but also politically brilliant - he finally exited the room. Sparkling lights both within and from without banished the midnight darkness at bay. Outside the... late Prime Minister's suite of rooms waited his cadre: Internal Security Minister Vidya Charan Shukla, Shiv Sena Leader Bal Thackeray, Spiritual Advisor to the Minister Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari, Chief of the Army Staff V. N. Sharma, and his own wife Maneka. He sighed. "The Prime Minister is dead..." A pause ensued. "Her heart stopped, so suddenly. There was nothing I could do." The four others simply nodded sadly, the pretense known but accepted.

    "Rajiv will attempt to consolidate the party when he hears of this," Maneka said.

    "Shall we do it?" Shukla asked. "Just say the word."

    Sighing once more, steeling himself, Sanjay nodded. "Execute."

    ----------------------
    "BEEP,BEEP,BEEP." Paige slapped the alarm clock, to stop its dang screeching. She then sat down and started praying "thank you god, for keeping me and my family safe,well fed and comfortable while so many are suffering." With that done, she started getting dressed. It was definitely not what she had before the war,With everything being rationed for the war effort the sources did not really have many good materials with which to work with, It was annoying but necessary, the Reds had to be defeated, if that meant giving up some good clothes then so b pt brushing until they came to the US "Finally we get to the Duluth Trial, As America reels in shock at the high placement of Mr. Duluthe, former chief editor of the Liberty Conservative Statesmen Magazine and his ties with soviet agents. Once more FBI assistant director Mark Felt made this statement today,"there are more Soviet spies throughout our great nation,I would ask all citizens to keep a sharp eye for them, if anything seems off please inform us at the FBI, we shall deal with it accordingly. The effects this shall have on the midterms is unknown, Although Progressive Senator Ruth Bader Ginsburg made another comment about the case "I think these developments are very troubling but I think an overzealous pursuit of Soviet spies could possibly undermine our National unity and our Constitutional civil rights which we are fighting this War to defend"

    Paige turned off the radio as she finished up brushing her teeth, and bounded downstairs to get Breakfast where she saw mom and dad talking. She was going to get Breakfast when she noticed something about her parents,She did not know what it was, maybe their body language, but they just seem a bit off to her. "What's wrong,Mom, Dad?" Her parents started in surprise as they saw Paige, They quicikly plastered smiles on "Nothing honey, just talk about the news today, That's all." Paige nodded understanding "Oh you were listening to, SO what do you think about that Duluthe Guy. I mean how could you do something like that keep your identity and allegiance hidden for so long. I just don't get it." was Another twitch from her parents, but this one barely noticeable, "we don't understand it either hon, I honestly wonder how in hell he got so close to the white house, if that doesn't show incompetence at the highest levels I don't know what does,typical Idiocy from one of the two party administrations. If you ask me." Mom said. That was typical from Mom, whenever she ventured into politics she was a stalwart Progressive and loved lambasting the "Typical incompetence of the old men from the two main Parties" Finally Henry came down the stairs and eagerly sat down "whats for breakfast?" he interjectd. Dad, seemingly relieved that there was something else to talk about walked over to the cabinet, "Will there's patriot flakes over here do you want that." Henry's face contorted, "dad, you know that is a bunch of mush, don't we have anything better?" Dad Looked at him sympathetically "you know our troops need food, besides isn't there a GI Joe Comic book at the bottom of this thing?" Henry perked up, "there is one thanks dad."

    As the family gathered round the table Paige Clasped her hands and did a silent prayer. She could see distinct discomfort on Mom and Dad's face. She still couldn't get why they were so...militantly Atheistic. Most people in town were not religious, but they at least believed. Her parents were not like that,she guessed they considered themselves Cosmopolitans, better than everyone else. Henry broke Paige's pondering with a question. "So Dad, I have been getting alot of questions at school about what exactly you do, Some of them have had said some pretty mean things too." Dad looked at Henry with a concerned face "What have they been saying exactly?" Henry looked down at his breakfast "They have been calling you a Draft dodger, they really hate the fact that you are still here, while most of their dads are off in Europe or Asia in the Army you know." Dad sat back down to consider that "well just tell them that what i do is also very important for the war effort. If I did not go work at the travel agency, our boys wouldn't be able to get place to place effectively and would not know the slightest thing to do when they reached those places. We make sure that our troops get to the front with the best speed and have knowledge of the land they are fighting for." Henry pouted abit "I know that but it seems all so intellectual. the kids at school can't really comprehend it easily." Dad looked at Mom, and made a suggestion " I know just the thing how about I give a presentation to the school about what I do." Henry looked up "You mean it,that be real fun" Dad smiled widely " I shall schedule it soon then, In the meantime you have to get out to school." Henry pouted "Its so annoying without the bus. Can't we drive?" Mom looked at him "you know we have gas rationing here.How about we walk with you. would that be good?" Henry sighed "No were fine mom, lets go Paige"

    As Paige and Henry walked down the street,the earlier conversation with Mom and Dad kept bugging her. What had they been talking about, she knew that they were not telling her the truth, at least not the whole truth. turning to her Brother she asked "Do you ever wonder about mom and dad?" Henry turned to her and gave a strange look "No, why do you ask?" Paige gave her the full account of the conversation that she had with mom and dad. Henry just shrugged "Probably Grown ups just talking about grown up stuff, nothing for us to worry about.". Paige snorted "Easy for you to say your just a 9 year old. me on the other hand...." their joking banter was stopped when they saw a dark car pull up to the Beemans house. A man in full military uniform got out and hesitantly walked towards the door. Henry came in "It may not be what it looks like, he may not be hurt." voice filled more with wishful thinking rather than actual hope. "And how likely is that?" Paige rejoined. Her thoughts were confirmed with a scream emitting from the house as they walked on. They did not say anything for the rest of the time it took to get to school.

    Elizabeth was looking out at her two children as they walked to school. "Im worried about Paige, Philip, she is too curious for her own good." Philip was putting on his coat "Don't worry she can't begin to suspect what we do." Elizabeth walked over to the counter, "She will begin to, and if she investigates..." "we will be careful, she wont find out a damn thing." Philip shot back. Elizabeth chewed on that for a couple seconds "I wouldn't miss it so casually Philip, she is an inquisitive kid, and when she puts her mind to it she can be as determined as a dog." Philip shrugged and repeated "we'll be careful, now lets get on to the job.The FBI handed us these papers on scandinavian culture to be given to troops on their way out,for our "travel agency" I believe we are supposed to pass it on,let's not disappoint our overlords shall we." Elizabeth stiffend "You have adapted to this far too easily. Did you even believe in the Motherland before?" Philip gave her the death stare "Lets not dispute this again, I believe in the Revolution, but our family comes first. I thought we agreed on this." Elizabeth retorted "I do believe that, I just don't throw myself into it. Unlike you." They looked at each other for a couple minutes. Finally Philip broke the silence "Let's just get this job done. We can talk about it later." Elizabeth gathered herself "fine,But we will have that talk." With that she strode out of the room leaving both spouses with a lot to think about.

    Written by @President Earl Warren

    -----------------------
    Behind the front lines in the west, the war was felt by most. Aside from the vast majority of the United States, nearly all the major cities had been victims of the Second Blitz. Governments the world over made gas masks mandatory, schools and major buildings holding air raid drills. Competent citizens and war veterans largely volunteered or were requisitioned for air defense duty in Britain, France, Japan, and Chile. Radar-guided flak guns and SAM batteries were staffed by these trained civilians, freeing elite troops for the frontlines where Warsaw Pact air cover was thickest. Rationing was the order of the day, scarce resources portioned out while the governments pushed significant funds into technology to boost crop yields – the Japanese and Chileans making significant ironroads into hydroponic tech.

    Things were better in the United States. President Rumsfeld and large majorities in both houses of congress had passed rationing, but increased production and crop yields meant it wasn’t as strict as before. Many states and localities created recycling ordinances in order to fully maximize efficient use of resources – it was said that the war gave birth to the high rates of metal, glass, paper, and plastics recycling in the United States. Business leaders were organized by the Rumsfeld Administration into an association to help plan out the war effort, chaired by New York mogul Donald Trump and Michigan automaker Lee Iacocca. Coordinating industrial production voluntarily with the military to avoid overregulation and actual government nationalization, the association would work well in adapting the American industrial behemoth to wartime production.

    [​IMG]
    Reverend Billy Graham rallying the masses to fight for God and civilization in West Virginia.
    Prospects of impending apocalypse soared American and western messages of faith. The world recognized leader and spiritual godfather of the Crusader Movement, Billy Graham, characterized the war as a true “Crusade” which pitted nations of faith against godless communism. Only by being strong with God and resolute in the defense of His morality – regardless of sect or creed – did Graham argue that the ideological zeal of the USSR could be spiritually defeated. Preaching to mass congregations all over the world (one gathering in California drew four million people over the course of a week, only to be topped by one in South Africa that drew an integrated crowd of 5.5 million over three days). Attitudes in the west were drawn to this moral revivalism, rejecting hedonism but also judgement, focusing on developing good moral character and spiritual enlightenment through faith.

    The tireless work of evangelists such as Graham, Jerry Falwell, Robert Jeffries, and many others, a new awakening boomed across the Christian world. Boosted by the Third Great Awakening, the sense of the war being a new Crusade against the godless mass of communism drew new millions to the movement. They were drawn to Graham’s message, fiery and passionate, yet also forgiving and hopeful for a better future. Fighting was turning in favor of the Allied powers. Communism was apparently on the ropes. Through prayer and Christian kindness, the hope was that the millions of oppressed people in the Soviet Union would not allow nuclear weapons to be launched and doom a world on the cusp of freedom and liberation.

    One intriguing (and somewhat disturbing) individual in the New Crusade was Reverend Fred Phelps. Born in Mississippi, Phelps had been a traveling preacher before he and his wife settled down in Kansas and founded the Westboro Baptist Church. Small at first, Phelps’ charismatic rhetoric and the deep spiritual revival that characterized the Third Great Awakening enabled it to become the largest church in Kansas by 1985. Similarly among the revivalists, Phelps traveled the nation and the Allied powers preaching his message, which unlike the Billy Grahams of the world was far darker. According to him, the Communist invasion was caused by “God’s displeasure in the United States for our failings, and that we must repent and recover in His image for final victory!” His targets were common bugaboos, such as the counterculture, atheists, and abortionists (Phelps and former Governor William Roy despised each other despite being in the same party), but he reserved his biggest hatred for homosexuals. Having led the campaign for Kansas’ Briggs Amendment – which passed with 55% in 1983 – his messaging led to distance between him and the other Crusaders but drew many adherents, leading to Phelps to plan a political career for when “Our nation chooses victory.”

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    Schmitz as a keynote speaker at a Support our Troops rally.
    The only person to match Phelps in his intensity – if not yet his views – was the “Voice of America” or “Simon Legree 2.0” depending on who you asked. John G Schmitz used his talk radio show New Day like his own private sword in the war against communism. While nationally syndicated before the war, drawing an estimated 12 million weekly listeners, New Day boomed to an international following with 250 million weekly listeners around the globe. Radio Free Europe, Radio Free South America, and Radio Free Africa would broadcast him, civilians, troops, POWs, and those trapped behind the Iron Curtain all listening to him. Schmitz pioneered a strategy of mixing riveting and often real time war news and battle developments – his description of the Battle of Koblenz as his on site reporters relayed to the California station would become the most tuned into broadcast since Prometheus Ten landed on the moon – with fire and brimstone commentary on the “Vile stain of communism!” Manager Rush Limbaugh would comment that Schmitz was “the modern-day Edward Morrow with a dash of Father Coughlin thrown in.”

    Schmitz’s newfound political power would be tested in late 1989. Under the leadership of CIA Director G. Gordon Liddy (who had taken over from Henry Kissinger midway through Rumsfeld’s first term), the CIA had been monitoring what looked to be a significant Soviet and East German spy presence in the west, along with the remnants of West Cuba’s. Teaming up with FBI Deputy Director Mark Felt, a tip from the Chilean intelligence, they investigated and scandalously arrested Charles Duluth conservative activist and longtime confidant of both the Reagan and Rumsfeld Administrations. Counts against him proved to be key in discovering a massive leak of intelligence, leading to further arrests of FBI Agent Robert Hansson and CIA Operative Aldrich Ames. However, a leak to Limbaugh by an as yet unknown source was broken on the broadcast of New Day by Schmitz, informing of the FBI discovering a ring of Soviet spies called “The Center,” that had pierced the fabric of the United States. “The communists live among us, as Americans!” Schmitz proclaimed. “Root them out! Root them out like the viruses they are!” His broadcast would touch off the Fourth Red Scare, a series of police manhunts, vigilante movements, and a series of congressional investigations that were just under the war in terms of national attention. Freshman Congressmen Nick Modi (R-TX) and Rick Santorum (D-PA) would distinguish themselves as zealous hunters while freshman Senator Ruth Bader Ginsburg (P-NJ) would make headlines for demanding caution and respect for due process.

    In spite of the war raging along the Rhine, the Po Valley, and Scandinavia – Soviet mountain forces declaring war on Sweden and Finland after the former allowed US bombers to cross over their airspace to firebomb Leningrad – the Portuguese were determined to be rid of the Allied occupation authority that administrated the Metropole. Both it and much of western Spain may have been war torn and wrecked after the months of heavy fighting before the fall of Lisbon, the Luanda government deemed it necessary to establish themselves as a functioning nation as soon as possible. They had been sundered and put under the yoke for nearly a decade and a half. National pride demanded it.

    As soon as Portuguese and Angolan forces forced the Congolese back into Zaire (Cabinda province still occupied), Prime Minister Francisco da Costa Gomes arrived in Lisbon to oversee a general election. Allied authorities approved of Portuguese self-governance months before, deeming that the threat of any USSR-aligned government was next to nil. Gomes had spent the entire time since Cunhal’s downfall to recreate a new, combined, democratic republic. Discussions with the various opposition leaders resulted in the reformation of political parties – the communists and their associated organizations were banned from existence under threat of treason. Campaigning lasted for a month for the June election, various parties battling each other. All was upended when the Lion of Angola, the beloved yet elderly General Kaulza de Arriaga unexpectedly announced he would take the helm of the Estado Novo political party. They vaulted into frontrunner status.

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    The results were never in doubt. Both overseas and Metropole electorates in a zealous anti-communist mood, the Socialists – despite the vast majority of the leadership having been imprisoned by the Cunhal regime – were delivered a shellacking at only 21% of the vote. Right-wing parties divided up the rest of the vote with just under half going to the national conservatives under Arriaga. The center-right got 76 seats, the Christian Democrats 20, and the remaining 12 snapped up by a neo-monarchist, Freyist party. Expected to offer coalition talks with center-right and former Gomes government minister Anibal Cavaco Silva, Arriaga shocked observers by announcing a coalition between his party and monarchist leader Goncalo Ribeiro Telles three days after the election.

    Only a week later, the world would find out the reason for this coalition as Arriaga announced that as soon as the war was won, he would move to amend the constitution to restore the Portuguese Monarchy. It stunned many, but monarchal restoration was far less of a wild idea after the Germans managed to accomplish it against far more daunting odds. It was very popular among the Portuguese people, fearful of a repeat of the 1975 election by adopting the Freyist idea of a national symbol to rally around. The mechanics of it all were still in doubt. First, the allies would have to win the war.

    While the situation in the west was strained but hopeful, in the Warsaw Pact it was a mix of scarcity and hopelessness. The civilian market for many domestic goods was nonexistent, gas unable to be found for non-vital public needs (although Party vehicles always had full tanks), and food rationed to the hilt. People were starving in many cases, women holding factory jobs as every able-bodied man was sent to the frontline. Though the west bore the brunt of the bombing casualties due to far better Warsaw Pact air defenses, the bombings hit the communist bloc harder. Only through a ridiculous level of government planning did the economy even manage to run, though anything less than a complete victory would cause a full economic collapse.

    Population restless, it was especially tense in the non-core republics of the Soviet Union (the core defined as Russia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia). STAVKA had essentially levied their population as cannon fodder, using them in suicide missions and casualty heavy feints and breakthroughs. It made sense in a perverse military rationale – the Muslim-heavy divisions weren’t the loyalist or best trained, and it conserved the far stronger Russian divisions for the crucial battles. But watching their loved ones come back in boxes for little reason, and censorship not being foolproof, led to a powder keg being formed. In many cities, militia and KGB troops resorted to live ammunition to quell demonstrations.

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    Soviet riot police combating an anti-war demonstration in the Georgian SSR.
    The massacres and brutal crackdowns caused simmering tension in the USSR, but it paled in comparison to the problems in the other communist nations. Violent purges characterized the norm in Brazil, Iran, and Nigeria, while Poland, the Sudan, Argentina, and Yugoslavia outright dispatched rockets and air-dropped bombs on crowds of rioting protesters. In East Germany, the government effectively lost control of internal security in the face of demonstrators and pro-Freyist, pro-Imperial rebels. Thrown into chaos by the disappearance of General Secretary Markus Wolf (who unknown to nearly all had seen the writing on the wall and arranged a deal with the Chileans via Switzerland to fork over all intel on communist spies in Chile in exchange for asylum, then fled incognito to the Chilean embassy in Bern), the nation was put under Soviet martial law, which only made tensions worse.

    Rumors that once fled resistance figures such as Lech Walesa, Dmytro Pavlychko, and Iraj Shafae had returned to their nations led to even greater crackdowns, full scale rebellion only staved off by the sheer might of Warsaw Pact military presence. To the Politburo, hopes were that a quick victory would turn the tide and prevent the house of cards from falling apart.

    “Kryuchkov is a Cunt!”
    -Protest chant in Tashkent-


    It was the desire of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to join the war on the side of the USSR. A nuclear power and with an army triple the size of their Pakistani neighbors, the INC goal of uniting the subcontinent under New Delhi’s grasp was at hand. This move was opposed by a group of ministers, generals, and party elders led by Indira’s son Sanjay. Once groomed to take over the nation, Sanjay and his mother had grown apart as he began to chafe at the pro-Soviet policies. Indira began to favor her middle son Rajiv, while Sanjay put together his own faction which included senior generals, the Government’s chief spiritual advisor Swami Dirhendra Brahmachari, and coalition partner Shiv Sena and its leader Bal Thackeray.

    Love for her eldest son having morphed into hate and disappointment, Indira could’ve used the chaos around the nation to dispose of Sanjay’s faction quietly and fake some casus belli to attack Pakistan – a move that would have likely forced the Chinese to join the war. However, she fell ill to various chronic conditions and was bedridden since the spring of 1989. In the resulting power vacuum, Sanjay and his compatriots exploited this to check Indira and Rajiv, creating a tense cold war between the two factions. It was only a matter of time, however, before some situation disrupted this peace. The Warsaw Pact was failing, and Sanjay knew what his mother and brother didn’t – that India would be destroyed if they attacked. He began to prepare and marshal support to take over the government, waiting for the right chance.

    Thus, in the early morning of June 1st, 1990, Indira Gandhi died peacefully in her sleep of heart failure – such was the official report of the military coroner, though the lack of autopsy under Sanjay’s religious objection and the quick cremation of the remains a week later led many to speculate that a more sinister cause of death was to blame. It was Sanjay who discovered the body and it forced his hand. Quickly meeting with his advisors and loyal military officers, Sanjay knew the time frame where only he knew of his mother’s death was shrinking rapidly. While much of the government, Shiv Sena, and likely the entire opposition supported him, the main ministers, a significant chunk of the military, and the communists had been grooming Rajiv since Indira’s health began to deteriorate. Agreeing to a decision, the body had not yet grown cold when the plotters ordered Case Jasmine to commence.

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    It began with simple moves. Controlling the military police, the pro-Sanjay majority among the military quickly rounded up the pro-Rajiv senior officers. Most were detained without incident, but Defense Minister P.V. Rao was killed in a gunfight between his guards and the MP unit sent to capture him. Once done, the Internal Security apparatus moved to take control over all major media outlets in the country – in Maharashtra it wasn’t necessary, Bal Thackeray already effectively owning all state media within the borders. The Communist Party headquarters was assaulted by crack units of the Rajputana Rifles, killing dozens and arresting hundreds. A message was broadcast from the capitol, announcing that the Prime Minister was dead and had named Sanjay as her successor on her deathbed, while a group of traitorous elements were trying to install Rajiv instead. Communications between military and government districts and the capitol were spotty unless routed through Sanjay-loyal hubs, leaving all local government forces with the stark choice.

    Actual fighting was limited, the majority of deaths and injuries being targeted assassinations by the security forces. Some localized fighting developed when a garrison commander in Punjab declared for Rajiv, resulting in his unit being surrounded by the Sanjay-loyalist Poona Horse battalion and bombarded until the commander was killed. In a bold political move, Maneka Gandhi visited with representatives of the non-communist opposition parties. Brokering a deal on June 2nd with the 95-year old opposition leader Morarji Desai – who viewed the benign authoritarianism of Sanjay as less vile than the active repression of the opposition that characterized the INC old guard – the opposition parties threw themselves on the side of the coup. Religious minorities and moderates flocked to Sanjay in response, dooming the loyalists to defeat a mere 36 hours after Indira’s death. Hope lost as the entire military and every state government declared for Sanjay, Rajiv and his advisors surrendered to Sanjay and General Sharma, ending the coup. On June 3rd Sanjay Gandhi was voted in as Prime Minister by a unanimous Lok Sabha.

    Immediately, Sanjay summoned each of the main Allied ambassadors to his private office for a candid discussion. Simply put, he declared the Republic of India would abandon its pro-Warsaw Pact leanings and seek complete neutrality in the war as long as India and the territorial integrity of the Chinese bloc were not infringed upon by the Anti-Warsaw Pact Alliance. Accepting these terms, allied planners prepared a more aggressive strategy for the coming autumn while lawmakers in Pakistan and Afghanistan – long dormant for fear of their eastern neighbor – found themselves free to turn their attentions westward.
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    On the dark morning of February 11, 1990, no one noticed a group of individuals traveling through suburban Pretoria. They wore the uniforms of the nation’s largest utilities company and were black, but in the Bewaring era it wasn’t odd anymore for black South Africans to hold such important jobs – many could vote, serve in the army, and lead government ministries after all. The neighborhood was an important one, where many important South Africans lived (which now included a significant minority of blacks, coloreds, Indians, and Asians). Guards checked the papers of the three vehicles. They seemed in order, and with the constant terrorism and insurrection the power supply for even cities like Pretoria was spotty at best.

    However, these weren’t power workers. Led by cell commander Jacob Zuma, they were a KGB-trained assault team of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) under orders from communist commander Chris Hani. Since much of the South African black majority that didn’t support the Bewaring government (communists, black nationalists, and ANC hardliners), a series of high profile bombings and assassinations targeted the highest rungs of the National Party/ANC government. This one would be the most daring of all, targeting the highest profile of all the “traitor” blacks that were behind Prime Minister Andries Treurnicht. At 3:17 AM, the gunmen attacked a gated house with AK-74 assault rifles and RPG-7 rockets. It was all over in twelve minutes. Half their number had been lost, but they killed eight security troopers and their target – Foreign Minister Nelson Mandela.

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    Anti-government forces in South Africa taking a promotional photo.
    Mandela’s murder was part of a continuum of killings, bombings, and all-out guerrilla warfare that had engulfed South Africa since it entered WWIII. Surrounded by allies on all sides and with Mozambique having shafted their communist brethren by joining the Entebbe Pact, Chris Hani and the MK were forced to eschew large scale warfare in favor of a brutal campaign of Fabian tactics. Bombings in the major cities were the norm, trains between the cities (jet fuel was rationed) were often shot up, and Boer farmers often kept mini-arsenals in their farms and banded into militias lest they be slaughtered as the MK was forced to do. Over 65% of the SADF was forced to stay on the homefront due to the fighting.

    Numerous attempts on the ANC collaborators and government ministers had been attempted, largely due to the surge in black support for Pretoria. With promises of the franchise and good pay for their families, non-communist blacks flocked to join the SADF. Stories of black heroes in Operation Springbok and the Battle of Kampala drew in more and more recruits, the MK rebels fighting their fellow blacks as often as they did whites and Asians. The death of the popular Mandela, who despite communist propaganda was a proponent of radical Bewaring (in Treurnicht’s memoirs, he would credit Mandela with pushing the reforms quicker than they had originally intended), only intensified the polarization of the African population. Joined by the Bantustan auxiliaries, especially the fanatical and well-trained KwaZulu army led by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the black forces would push deep into rebel held savanna and largely secure the East Cape, Natal, and southern Orange Free State, while attacks in the Transvaal would drop 50% by May 1990.

    By the summer of 1990 and the death of Joe Slovo from a SADF/KwaZulu counterinsurgency raid on his compound in the Orange Free State, Hani and his associates realized that given the reversals the communists faced to the north that the war was not going to be won. Overtures from Kampala, Benguela, and Nairobi were forthcoming, however. Relations between the South African bloc and the Entebbe Pact had never been warm, the two essentially being co-belligerents against the Warsaw Pact. Hani quickly made a pact of his own with Idi Amin – which was reported to have been planted in Amin’s mind by his aide, B. Hussein Obama Jr. While keeping up the bombings and rural killings with the expendable troops, MK withdrew as much as it could to positions in Mozambique, preparing for when the new standoff would occur.

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    Having led his troops into a suicide attack on Essen and Dortmund during the Battle of the Rhine, Colonel General Dangatar Kopekov returned to Western Command in January 1990 only to find himself berated and castigated by an enraged Pyotr Demichev. Despite having attacked on orders from STAVKA, Moscow needed someone to blame for the strategic defeat at the Rhine, and with Front Commander Boris Gromov too popular and competent to sack it was the Turkmen that received the wrath. Demoted to Major General on the spot, Kopekov was sent to career hell in the command of the Turkmen Military District. The decorated veteran of the Battle of Hamburg, the Skirmishes on the Kiel Canal, and Operation Kutuzov now had a command behind the lines. It rankled him, and after watching his men die simply because they were “Black ass Muslims” to the Politburo killed any loyalty he had in the communist system.

    Far from being a quiet backwater however, Kopekov found his native republic to be a seething cauldron of ethnic tension. Harsh measures by the KGB-led internal security troops – who aside from local militia were the only military forces in the region – had brought anger to the boiling point. Discretely establishing contacts with the main dissident voices, Kopekov secretly formed an alliance with them and began sneaking weapons and information to the various cells – both in the Turkmen SSR and neighboring ones. Afghanistan and Pakistan, looking for a friendly ally to their north, supplied as much assistance as they could smuggle in, unhindered by a busy Iran. All that was needed was the right spark.

    When a group of Interior Ministry troops in Ashgabat shot up a crowd of children that were taunting and throwing rocks at them on June 10, 1990, the spark had lit the fuse. Automatic rifles were drawn and an angry mob massacred the squad, sparking more riots that turned into a general revolt. When the KGB commander and political commissar demanded Kopekov use his forces to put down the insurrection, the general shot both in the face with his Makarov and announced to the city and the entire SSR that they were now an independent nation. The rebels rallied behind him, messaged of ethnic unity and anti-Russian sentiment – with Islam and the face of the great Mongol Khan Timur e-Lang or “Tamerlane” front and center – to consolidate control around Kopekov. STAVKA and the Politburo furious, it was up to Lt. General Igor Rodionov to take his 20,000 scattered reservists and KGB fanatics through the guerilla bands to recapture Ashgabat.

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    Exhausted and battered along the mountain and country roads, Rodionov’s force reached the defenses of Ashgabat and quickly moved to besiege the city. Artillery and limited airstrikes bombarded the urban core as civilian casualties began to pile up. No quarter was given to any Turkmen soldier or civilian, Kopekov ordering no quarter given back. The back and forth went on for nearly a week, the Soviets giving double their casualties before Kopekov issued the defining order of his career. On June 28th, all Turkmen soldiers within the center of the city fled. Blood up, exultant KGB troopers – more like bloodthirsty militia led by one particularly bloodthirsty officer – charged forth, taking with them a total of 1,500 soldiers. It was a trap, the rebels setting upon them with every bit of armor and heavy weapons at their disposal in a ring of steel. By the time Rodionov battered his way into the pocket, only 179 remained. Assaulted on all sides by renewed partisan activity, the Soviets withdrew as fast as they could. The rebels had won.

    The victory at Ashgabat carried far and wide. Seeing that Muslim rebels had defeated a force of the vaunted Red Army – albeit a weak and badly led one – began a hue and cry across the minority republics of the USSR. In the weeks that followed, the Uzbek, Tajik, Kyrgyz, Azeri, Armenian, Georgian, and Moldovan SSRs were in full scale armed insurrection against Moscow, while the Tatarstan, Chechen, Dagestan, and Tuva ASRs within Russia joined them. Kopekov’s army, restyled the “Grand Timurid Liberation Army,” quickly advanced from Ashgabat and secured all of the Turkmen SSR within a month. Swelling to nearly 110,000, the GTLA aimed to capture Bukhra and Samarkand, as well as link up with Tajik rebels that liberated Dushanbe with Afghan help. It seemed at just the most critical time in the history of World Socialism, the Soviet Union seemed to start cracking internally.

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    Credit to @NotA_Potato for the wikiboxes

    As the Soviets were waiting for better winter weather in Germany, efforts were underway to reignite the static Italian Front – which had been generally quiet since the First Battle of Bologna. STAVKA planners and Defense Minister Demichev felt that if they could knock Italy out of the war they could essentially cut off the eastern Mediterranean from the Allies, along with opening up another front against France through the Alps. At worst, they’d tie off significant Allied military forces for the Summer offensive in Germany. As such, the 1st Balkan Front was divided into the 1st Italian and 2nd Italian Fronts, the latter led by their longtime commander Marshal Konstantin Kobets and the former led by veteran of the South German campaign Marshal Boris Snetkov. On the Allied side, significant Spanish and British reinforcements in the north allowed General Bonifazio di Camerana and Field Marshal Richard Swinburn to concentrate Italian forces in the south. Army Group Cisalpine concentrated around the defensive lines at Cremona and Brescia, commanded overall by Swinburn but with an Italian contingent led by the former Commander of Italian Forces in Greece Domenico Corcione and Spanish forces led by the Hero of Madrid Antonio Tejero. In the south, Army Group Latinum was led by di Camerana and a British force by Paratrooper Lt. General Hubert Jones, concentrated among a series of defenses astride the Italian Peninsula dubbed the Berlusconi Line (after Italian Defense Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a rising star among Christian Democracy).

    On March 22, 1990, Operation Frunze began. The guns of the 2nd Italian Front boomed all across the peninsula. Soviet troops, the Romanian Army, and a significant Bulgarian contribution assaulted the Berlusconi line, probing the shellshocked allies for weak spots. Massive numbers of state of the art T-90 MBTs broke through the defenses with the aid of gas and thermobaric explosives. Both the Italians and British threw in reserves, but Kobets and Romanian General Vasile Milea were like a dog with a bone and refused to give in.

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    After over a week of heavy fighting and an entire Italian division and British brigade cut off and overwhelmed by the onrushing Warsaw Pact, the Berlusconi Line collapsed. Triumphant Red Army tanks paraded through the battered streets of Bologna, the city falling on March 30. General di Camerana ordered a general withdrawal deeper south into the mountainous landscape of Tuscany. Whole brigades were ordered to hold the mountain passes at all cost, inflicting heavy casualties on the attackers.

    The terrain between the broken Berlusconi Line and the major cities of northern Tuscany were thickly forested hills and peaks, tightly defended by the Allies. Planning for this, the 2nd Italian Front made sure to include crack mountain divisions among their reserves. Concentrated airstrikes swarmed the RAF and IAF defenders in the key points to enable the assault forces to break through. Italian Communists, largely underground since the war began, rose up in many cities and tied up critical reinforcements and sabotaged infrastructure. A major Soviet airborne landing, the first since Iceland, stormed Pisa on April 10 – a massive defeat that destabilized the entire western portion of the line. However, no amount of skillful maneuvering could break the British defenses centered on the cultural hub of Florence. General Milea was forced to martial his well-trained forces for a full-frontal assault, an assault that quickly bogged down into pure urban warfare. Block by block, rivers of blood being spilled.

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    The going in Florence was slow, but pressure by Soviet and Bulgarian forces in the rural regions to either side of the inland city forced Jones to disengage – famed Para commander John Roland led the rearguard in a series of actions still studied in modern military academies for their brilliance, holding the Romanians while the Allies evacuated. Jones had accomplished his goals of taking a stand, namely the bloodying of the elite Romanian divisions. Images of Warsaw Pact artillery gutting the ancient Florence Cathedral went in propaganda reels all over Italy, the government and Vatican galvanizing support among the population in what was shaping up to be a fight for the nation’s survival. Having taken heavy losses, Kobets knew that giving up the initiative would mean defeat and pried several new aircraft squadrons from STAVKA for the drive to Rome.

    In the North, Marshal Snetkov began the second theater of Operation Frunze one week later than Kobets with the hopes that Italian forces would be caught being redistributed. Such did happen and greatly hurt the Allies, the 1st Italian Front breaking through the defenses after two days of pitched fighting. With the Romanians in the south, STAVKA allocated a large component of Polish units and a Yugoslavian Expeditionary Force to Snetkov for the advance. Racing through as quickly as possible despite the narrow front, the 1st Italian Front’s initial goals were two-fold. Near the end of April they completed their first goal when Croatian divisions traversed the Ligurian Mountains to overrun Genoa and its 20,000 defenders. Meanwhile, the majority of the Polish units halted at Pavia and Tortona while the Red Army swung northward to cut off the metropolis of Milan.

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    Hemmed in by the Alps, the tough urban nightmare of Milan would gut the critical Red Army divisions that were needed for the drive for Turin and Nice. Therefore, Snetkov devised a plan to cut off the city – who’s civilian population hadn’t yet evacuated due to the speed of the Warsaw Pact Blitzkrieg – and force it to surrender. Therefore, a massive diversionary assault was launched in the eastern part of the city while his armored units forced a crossing of the Ticino River to take the supply hub at Novara. This cut off resupply from the east, but Milan still had access to the Alps via neutral Switzerland. Snetkov requested for his air detachment to bomb the Swiss side of the roads, but was denied due to the desire not to have to deal with occupying the Swiss as well. So, the Marshall tasked his mountain units with cutting off the Alpine routes. It was slow going, but the Allies were still slow to react to the Soviet tactics and the jaw snapped shut while 90,000 men were trapped in the city. After several days of pure hell with gas, high explosive, and thermobaric bombardment, in order to minimize civilian casualties British Lt. General Tony Wilson surrendered Milan to the Soviets.

    With the massive defeats in Milan and Florence, Rome was in chaos. Streams of refugees fled south while the military scrambled everything they had – including mass impressment of civilian laborers – to construct the ‘Second Berlusconi Line,’ the largest defensive formation in Italian history stretching from San Benedetto del Tronto to Civitavecchia. Conscription was swelling the ranks, people heeding the call of Prime Minister and Pope to fight for their homeland. The stress became too much for Prime Minister Enrico Berlinguer. On June 3, his staff found him at his office in Rome, slumped over on his desk. His weak heart had finally given out. Foreign Minister Achille Occhetto was quickly sworn in as Prime Minister and leader of the Free Democratic Left, and his first order was simple. For the defenders of the Second Berlusconi Line, “Not One Step Back.” Over a million Italians, nearly 400,000 British, and a strong Canadian component that had been raced north from Naples would face the Warsaw Pact juggernaut gunning for Rome.

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    All across Tuscany the battle raged through the months of June and July. Heavy fighter coverage by the IAF and RAF blunted Soviet air superiority, leaving ground forces evenly matched. The Soviets and Romanians tried over a dozen times to pierce the Second Berlusconi Line and at one point got to within five miles of Rome itself – much of the city was hit by artillery and close air support – but each was either blunted or beaten back by ferocious counterattacks. The Canadians committed themselves outside of Rome (their force including two new recruits from political families, Justin Trudeau and Ted Cruz), fighting like wolves. At Ascoli Piceno, John Roland led the Parachute Regiment in a daring raid that ended up routing an entire Bulgarian division, collapsing an entire portion of the Warsaw Pact line in the east for several days, retaking ten miles of ground, and winning Roland his second Victoria Cross for supreme bravery. Casualties mirroring the Battle of the Rhine when adjusted for scope, Kobets finally called off the offensive. Both sides were exhausted and offensive capabilities were shot, but the line had held, and the tricolor still flew high over Rome.

    As fighting raged along the Berlusconi Line, the campaign in North Italy was reaching its climax as well. With Soviet forces digesting the capture of Milan and racing to capture the remaining Allied forces in Alpine Austria and Italy (in which they would succeed), the responsibility for the advance rested on the Polish 1st Armored Army. A massive force led by General Florian Siwicki – a vet of Operation Konstantin – the goal was the capture of Turin, the capture of which would effectively cede all of north Italy to the Warsaw Pact. Field Marshal Swinburn committed everything he had, the largest armored battle since Koblenz commencing in earnest.

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    Tanks dueling over the Italian city, Siwicki made the fatal mistake of shifting several of his Polish divisions from the south to the center to overcome the British defenses. The flank defense rested on the responsibility of Bosniak troops in the Yugoslavian Army. Largely oppressed since the death of Marshal Tito and detesting their Serb nationalist commander General Slobodan Milosevic, it took only a general counterattack by Tejero for them to mutiny and surrender en masse on the third day of fighting. Swinburn, seeing his opportunity, threw his entire reserve into an envelopment. Front command ordered a full retreat, but the crack Polish armored spearhead of nearly 200,000 troops was trapped when the Allied jaws of steel snapped shut. Both STAVKA and the Polish government ordered them to hunker down and await a breakout attempt, and such was what Siwicki did.

    At the end of July, Operation Frunze had largely ended. Essentially all of Northern Italy had fallen, making it an operational success. However, the Warsaw Pact had come short in their overall strategic goals of capturing Rome and opening up a second front in France. Hopes were high that one more attack would finish the Allies off, but for now the initiative shifted north, as the titans battled in the fight that would decide the war.

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    Philip and Elizabeth were in an abandoned industrial complex on the Pennsylvanian border, not far from DC. They couldn't see their contact anywhere. Philip turned to Elizabeth, "Are you sure you have the right location?" Elizabeth looked at him, quite annoyed. "Of course I got the right location Philip, why wouldn't I?" Philip was about to respond when that annoying noise, the unpleasant sound which eternally irritated him, yet again went through his ear. "Oh I hope you aren't wrong, Mrs. Jennings...Otherwise I would have to say you were aiding the enemy! You cannot take that, especially after the fiasco last time." Philip could quite clearly see that Elizabeth wanted to tear the godforsaken earpiece out of her ear and smash it. Philip sympathized all to well, since he wanted to do that himself. He answered, "Well you were the one who told us to give Ol' Granny here the information about the US high command shifting your troops out of Italy. You cannot fault us if you get burned out by your own miscalculation." Gaad on the other end seemed a bit put back "I know that but if you hear some of the guys back here, they say you're still spying for the russkies, playing a triple agent game. This is especially true for the Pentagon personnel." Philip was about to fire back some caustic comeback about how those idiots with brass don't have a clue about what goes on in a spy's world and how---he never finished that thought, as a car pulled up.

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    Claudia, KGB supervisor of Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings.

    Apparently Granny was here after all. Finally. The older women, in her 60s most likely, walked over to them and motioned for them to walk into the abandoned building nearby. As they closed the door, Granny started talking in her crooning voice. "You are to be congratulated my friends, your information about the Italian shift was very helpful in the offensive there." Elizabeth, with some effort, put on a good face. "Thank you, ma'am. I assume you are here for more than compliments though..." Granny leaned back. "You are correct in that, Very well then.. The Center wants you to do three very difficult things." Philip stiffened, "Comrade, I think you have two things to do. I believe we should look at dealing with that leak. You see, Wolf was not the only traitor, One of our couriers back in India just went over to the Americans, he has knowledge on the Directorate. All of it, including names, faces and locations. Needless to say he has to be dealt with, before he does any harm. We would prefer the bastard alive, so that those kind boys at Treblinka do what they do best on him...but dead is acceptable too. This order cannot be countermanded under any circumstance and if you do not follow through, you will be considered traitors deserving of death." Philip froze in place, well this was awkward wasn't it? "...And the second task?" Granny smiled. "You will have to appropriate yourself to the community, in this case I want you to join up with a local Red Hunting Committee, you know how those vigilante groups are looking for us, what do they call them? "Good viruses?" She laughed to herself. "We need to keep their attention away from the actual spying, give them red herrings. Is that clear? And of course the final job, which I hope you're up for, to place a wire on the Secretary of State, John Danforth. This is also an uncountermandable order. Is that clear?" They answered in unison, "Yes Granny..." She left quietly. They stood there for a minute, unsure of what to do. This was quite the predicament...The noise in their ear broke the silence, "Well, this is interesting is it?" Elizabeth answered, "Now's not the time, Frank."

    Damn, that guy was annoying.​

    Written by @President Earl Warren
     
    B3L, Lisowczycy, CountofDooku and 2 others like this.
  6. The Congressman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Good ol' USA
    “Fighting in the ass end of nowhere – be it a scorching desert, sodden jungle, some rock in the middle of the sea, or a frozen wasteland – is what Marines do.”

    -James Mattis-

    Pulled out by special forces in April 1990 after nearly a year and a half spent on a mission of reconnaissance and sabotage across Iceland with his platoon-size command (for which he would win two Navy Crosses), Cpt. James Mattis of the USMC was transferred to the latest front in America’s planned one-year campaign to squeeze the USSR on all sides. Gathering in the melting frost of Outer Manchuria was a vast multi-national coalition of countries that made odd bedfellows. By far the largest component were the 400,000 troops of the Imperial Japanese Army under Prince Yamanashi, besieging Vladivostok and advancing at a snail’s pace north to digest the lightning gains from Operation Kitsune. Complementing the 30,000 marines were an additional 190,000 soldiers from Vietnam, South Korea, the Republic of China, and the Philippines. Facing off against them were the underequipped and undersupplied troops of the Far Eastern Military District under Marshal Lev Rokhiln. At only 260,000, half of those being local militia units hastily conscripted. Rokhiln couldn’t hope to drive the allies back into the sea, but he had plenty of space in which to play with and he intended to.

    Once all the units were in place and the ground hardened from the spring snowmelt, on May 1st the Allied armies resumed their offensive. Most of the armor, except for two Japanese armored divisions and the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force who attacked along the Ussuri river valley near the Chinese border. The Soviets traded space for time, but the sheer weight of the offensive and the deficiency in Soviet artillery and anti-tank rockets – not to mention the full Allied air superiority – drove them back further and faster than STAVKA thought. Meanwhile, Allied intelligence reported that the Soviets were spreading out their forces to defend alleged nuclear ICBM bases in the north Amur region. Therefore, significant forces were detached to secure everything south of the Amur River to the north of Khabarovsk, while a little over a third of the Allied host would assault the city itself.

    However, intelligence was wrong. Rokhiln had sent only 20,000 troops to the north Amur region, and concentrated the vast bulk of his army in and around Khabarovsk.

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    The battle soon became a near disaster, overconfident Japanese and other allied forces running straight into the larger than expected Soviet force. Rokhiln was nearly able to force them back with heavy losses on the second day, but his deficiencies in armor and aircraft allowed the Allies to counterattack and drive him back into the city. With the Japanese pinning them down, the South Koreans broke through in the north while the Marines (James Mattis leading a company on the frontline) stormed Zhenbao Island in a bloody fight that lasted nearly three days before they crossed the Amur, forcing Rokhiln to withdraw with heavy casualties. All of the USSR south of the Amur had fallen, and the Allies were driving hard through the much better terrain north of it.

    One week after their defeat at Khabarovsk, the USSR sent their retaliation in a multi-city air raid. The largest ever launched on Japan. Knowing the big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka were likely brimming with air defenses, the fighters engaged IJAF and USAF fighters while the bombers hit smaller cities: Sendai, Niigata, Matsuyama, Kobe, Shizuoka, and the spiritual and cultural center of Kyoto. Over 40% of the Soviet Aircraft were shot down or damaged, making it a costly raid, but they succeeded in killing nearly 120,000 civilians and wounding triple that. Upon hearing the news, the Japanese Army in Manchuria just resolved to fight harder against the Soviets. Lt. General Kenzo Fujiyama, the commander of the Vladivostok siege operations, took the deaths of his sister and nieces in the raid on Sendai personally. Ordering a sharp Tabun bombardment of the Soviet lines, the weakened defenders were shocked to see that instead of normal raiding and probing assaults, the Japanese assaulted the line with extreme ferocity. It was unexpected and broke them. In five hours in the early morning of June 10, 1990, Vladivostok finally fell to the IJA – a third of the defenders were killed in the fighting, while another sixth were massacred on General Fujiyama’s orders. This became a propaganda nightmare for Japan and the Allies, the USSR trumpeting it as yet another Japanese atrocity in a history of atrocities. Reagan barely prevented South Korea from leaving the alliance, while Prime Minister Mishima sacked Fujiyama. The general wouldn’t live to see a court martial, committing seppuku on the 12th in Vladivostok. The first Japanese officer to do so since WWII.

    This bruhaha couldn’t stop the month-long blitzkrieg by the Allies. Splitting their forces in two, Count Mogataru Takahashi took command of Army Group Okhotsk and 210,000 troops to take the ultimate goal of Yakutsk while Prince Yamanashi took command of Army Group Amur’s 450,000 troops in the drive to Blagoveshchensk and ultimately Lake Baikal. Over the month of June, they consistently defeated Rokhiln in engagement after engagement. Birobidzhan, Sel'khoz, Raychikhinsk, and Burukan would fall within the month. Yamanashi was soon in sight of Blagoveshchensk after US Marines captured Belogorsk as an Independence Day present for their country. Knowing the Soviets had concentrated their main force here, he planned a sweeping offensive across the Seya River to cut off as many Soviets as possible and either force them to surrender or intern them in neutral China. On the 6th of July, the first Japanese units forded the river.

    Unfortunately, the history of the Korean War was about to repeat itself for the west and the USMC. After making the decision during the winter of 1990 to intervene in the war with volunteer units, Chinese leader Jiang Qing dispatched Marshal Chi Haotian to the USSR with over 650,000 soldiers – the best troops China had. Trying to avoid the diplomatic hurdles of attacking from China itself (though they could probably roll up the entire Allied force if they did this), they moved all their troops and supplies through neutral Chinese puppet Mongolia, Haotian had massed enough troops and supplies in Chita to move the People’s Volunteer Army into battle in late June. By July 7th, they were in place.

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    Massive columns of armor couldn’t be hidden, but based on aerial reconnaissance Siberian command expected it to be scratch Soviet reinforcements straight from the tank factories at Novosibirsk – they did not expect them to be crack Chinese forces or did they see the hidden Chinese infantry units sneaking through the forests and woodland at nighttime. So as the 2nd Field Army under General Tokikichi Arima and the 1st ROC Army under General Chiang Chung-ling began cleaning up Soviet resistance in the small town of Shimanovsk, over 200,000 Chinese soldiers of the 1st Shock Army slammed into them at 9:00 AM on July 7th. With hundreds of thousands more behind them and Chinese aircraft overwhelming allied air cover in a massive first wave, chaos reigned in the allied lines as units were haphazardly thrown to block the assault. Rokhiln, who so far had been bottled up in Blagoveshchensk, went on the attack as well. Caught in an envelopment, Yamanashi ordered a full evacuation across the Zeya. Philippine forces moved to block the Soviets while the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force stood against the Chinese horde at Svobodny. In the fiercest fighting since the Chosin Reservoir, the Marines and Philippines held back assault after assault to protect the evacuation. The USAF and IJAF launched sortie after sortie through intense Chinese flak and fighter cover to provide support. Losses were murderous and the defeat massive, but the Allied Army Group managed to withdraw in good order nonetheless.

    Prince Yamanashi, following the stabilization of the line east of the Zeya River around Belogorsk, fired his intelligence chief and replaced them with General Arima’s competent staff from the capture of Karafuto. Diplomats in Beijing shuttled back and forth with Ronald Reagan taking a priority flight from Tokyo to take point in talks with Premier Qing. Fury at China in the west was at a fever pitch, but at the top no one wanted China as a full participant in the war – they alone could turn the tide back to the Warsaw Pact, and all good fortune from the Indian Coup would be lost. Reagan would later recount it would be with a heavy heart that he accepted China’s explanation and kept the status quo. Meanwhile, Japan and the other Asian allies ordered another round of conscription and reinforcement. The battle in the Far East would not be as easy as once thought.

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    “Sailors sail ships. Navy sailors sink them.”

    -John McCain-


    Since WWII, the increasing size and cargo capacity of ships had resulted in a dramatic reduction in the world’s total merchant marine. Given their seafaring bent, the Allies suffered the worst of it. With the massive expenditures of material in the Western, African, South American, Middle Eastern, and Far Eastern fronts – men could rely on air transport to be moved to the combat zones – resupply would have been a struggle even in the most favorable of circumstances. However, the most favorable of circumstances were not forthcoming. Since the capture of Iceland early in the war, Soviet submarines and long-range bombers had swept down from the Arctic waters to wreak havoc on Allied shipping. Merchant losses were modest due to technologically advanced countermeasures, but with the dearth of merchant ships each loss was magnified in proportion.

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    An anti-sub missile fires from the USS Haiphong while on convoy duty.
    Convoys were formed, and the shipyards of New York, Philadelphia, Newport News, Galveston, Los Angeles, Cape Town Sydney, and Melbourne – along with the damaged (in the Blitz) shipyards of Portsmouth, Brest, Marseilles, Yokohama, and Osaka – churned out ship after ship. All construction was pushed towards the AEGIS-capable ships such as the Omaha Beach-class cruisers and Agamemnon-class destroyers. Each could launch missiles at significant accuracy, adding a further protection to merchantmen from Soviet anti-ship missiles. Still, the bombers, subs, and the occasional airstrike from the Soviet blue water carriers kept coming throughout 1989 and the Spring of 1990.

    Given the strength of the Soviet submarine presence in the North Atlantic and their dominance through land-based air cover, the Allied navies kept their carriers at a wide berth – many still hadn’t recovered from the losses in the Battle of the Norwegian Sea. While new supercarriers were being constructed at home, the remainder were used as support tools in the Central Atlantic to back up the defenders of Venezuela, Guyana, Liberia, and Biafra. Many US Navy carriers were used in the liberation of Portugal, as well as defending vital convoys and escorting the troop transport aircraft across the Atlantic. However, by the late spring of 1990, newly commissioned ships joined the freeing of the Pacific thanks to the Japanese entry into the war allowed the Allies to go on the offensive in the North Atlantic.

    The main goal was Iceland. Capturing it as soon as war was declared had been a coup for the Warsaw Pact, and they had held it since. Early attempts to recapture it led to the disastrous Battle of the Norwegian Sea. Now, Admiral John Sidney McCain III was determined to avenge the defeat and reclaim the initiative in the Atlantic. In early June, the reformed combined fleet sailed from their anchorages in Boston and Halifax and steamed straight for Iceland. Soviet satellites picked up on the activity and STAVKA dispatched the Blue Water Fleet under Admiral Vladimir Chernavin from the wartime anchorage in northern Norway to intercept. The trajectory would have the two fleets meet 300 miles apart in the Denmark Strait, 150 miles east of Greenland.

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    The lessons of the Battle of the Norwegian Sea were heeded. Admiral McCain immediately went on the attack, holding back none of his offensive forces while using submarines for cruise missile bombardment of Iceland while keeping every one of his cruisers armed to the brim with air to air missiles. Only two squadrons of aircraft were kept in reserve while the remainder rocketed towards the Soviet fleet to escort the strike planes carrying their brand new sea-skimming cruise missiles (the Soviets were still armed with the high-air Kingfish missiles that were far more vulnerable to SAMs). When the Soviet Badgers and Backfires swept in from their bases on the Kola peninsula to ambush the NATO fleet, McCain sent the reserve rocketing forward after them and not the decoy force, more advanced electronics and radar tech determining which was which. Royal Navy Vice Admiral Stanley Woodward, in charge of air defense, readied the maze of ships for the coming onslaught.

    Flurries of missiles and flak filled the air. Aircraft streaked through the sky as the furiously went at each other, the icy seas awash with flame. Eventually, one fleet withdrew and one sailed triumphant. A decisive victory had been achieved just like in the Norwegian Sea a year and a half before – only flipped. With the sinking of the Kursk and the damage to both the Red October and the Ulyanovsk, along with all three aviation cruisers as well, Admiral Chernavin withdrew back to Murmansk with heavy losses. Despite heavy losses as well, along with the sinking of USS Midway, the NATO fleet had triumphed. Western press hailed the Battle of the Denmark Strait as a victory along the likes of Trafalgar, Salamis, and Midway, Admiral McCain an international hero. Now, the liberation of Iceland could commence.

    In another stroke of luck for the Allies, none of the LHDs were sunk by the Soviet anti-ship missiles. Joining with troop carrier merchantmen kept far behind the main fleet, Admiral McCain acted upon the discretion given to him by Washington and Brussels to commence with Operation Sigrun. Just four days following their naval victory, Allied forces under the command of British Maj. General Julian Thompson landed on the Icelandic coast. Soviet Lt. General Alexander Lebed knew the danger of his limited forces on Iceland. Preparing in the event the navy failed to keep the Allies from landing, Lebed had fortified the main peninsula of Iceland to the hilt with Atlantic Wall style fortifications. However, Thompson and his Royal Marines planned for this. Instead of hitting Reykjavik and Keflavik head on, they landed far to the east at Stokkseyri while a US airborne brigade under the command of Col. David Petraeus landed at Laugarvatn. Since the vast majority of Iceland wasn’t even looked at by the Soviets – the locals kept in line by food and utility shipments – cutting them off from the capital secured them rather quickly. Soon the US Army forces and Canadian component were landed as well.

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    By the third day the fighting had reached the defensive positions in and around the capital. Lebed was under no illusions that his command was doomed. Three Iowa-class battleships and the new nuclear-powered USS Texas, a hybrid missile/big gun battlecruiser, brought to bear intense shore bombardment to compliment the fleet’s strike fighter wing. A second long-range bomber strike sunk a destroyer and a frigate and damaged five other ships but didn’t slow down the offensive. Having laid low for over 18 months, a little over a thousand Icelandic resistant fighters rose up behind the lines and created mass chaos that Thompson exploited. Finally, on June 26, Lebed realized the inevitable. Bucking orders from Moscow to hold to the last man, he surrendered his entire force to the Allies. Iceland had been retaken and the Atlantic largely secured.

    The Soviet declaration of war on Sweden and Finland had been a close vote in the Politburo, outrage at their granting of airspace rights to the NATO bombing raid on Leningrad only barely overcoming resistance from even several committed hardliners. Marshal Boris Gromov, the hero of the Western Front and beloved by the public and the soldiers, strongly advised against opening up yet another front. Nevertheless, General Secretary Kryuchkov and Defense Minister Demichev demanded it so the tanks rolled across the borders. Previously stalemated at Bodo, the Norwegian frontline became mobile again as mountain and light motor-rifle forces pierced the light Swedish defenses to the east and managed to flank the town. Population was light here, but a significant amount of territory was captured before determined Norwegian-Swedish defenders halted the Red Army at the Rørvik-Umeå line clear across Scandinavia.

    Things were worse in Finland. Being so close to Leningrad, the Soviets allocated a significant portion of their air defense fighters and five crack divisions for the opening assault. Within three weeks, Helsinki had fallen as the Finish army in the south disintegrated. Many troops went underground while the government fled to the Aaland Islands. The Soviets sent in far less-experienced forces to finish the job, one from the north and one from captured Helsinki. Rampaging across central Finland, the goal were the northern coastal city of Oulu and southern coastal city of Turku.

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    Brig. Gen. Gustav Hagglund’s forces were the last regular unit that Finland had, and they were outnumbered over three to one by the Soviets. However, Oulu had the advantage of being protected by elite squadrons of Swedish Saab 37 Viggen fighters. Air superiority gained, the city held for four days against intense assault. By June 6th, the majority of it was in Soviet hands but they were too exhausted to continue. Just one week later, Turku withstood intense Red Army attack as Finnish militia along with nearly 30,000 Irish soldiers (initially pegged to join the main force of the Irish Corps on the Kiel Canal line, Powell dispatched them to the Finish city as the only unit he could spare). In the aptly named Battle of Vinegar Hill (the Finnish name for the hilly land ten miles east of Turku was different, but the name of the famous 1798 battle given by the Irish stuck), the Irish held the line and counterattacked, mauling two Soviet divisions and halting the conquest. While the entire southern coast and everything north of Oulu was in Soviet hands, Central Finland and the southwestern coast remained relatively free.

    Even with the occupation of the majority of Finland, the government refused to capitulate and drew in reinforcements from Sweden and Norway. General Gromov’s warnings had largely come to pass. Bogged down on multiple fronts and desperately propping up the majority of their allies – the only real aid being limited troop support from a reluctant China – the USSR was beginning to feel the pinch. All hinged on their coming offensive in Western Europe. If the Atlantic could be reached, then it would turn around completely. The rebellions and side fronts could be dealt with at leisure, and the Allies would be forced to the negotiating table. Clouded hope, the Politburo let the dice fly high.

    All or nothing.

    The final victory as predicted by Marx.

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    Whatever excess the Soviets had were being massed in western Germany. While they were being outmatched nearly everywhere else, in the Western Theater the Warsaw Pact still had the numerical advantage and qualitative parity. With over 6 million troops (including their Warsaw Pact Allies), Marshall Boris Gromov informed his superiors – the Politburo, Marshal Sergey Akhromeyev, and Marshal Viktor Kulikov – that he could achieve their victory. The grand plan was for firm tactical surprise. Strategic surprise was impossible because the open secret was that the Soviets would attack in the west. However, the conventional wisdom was that they’d duplicate both the Battle of the Bulge and Operation Kutuzov – advance on Antwerp, cut off all forces in the Netherlands, and then drive for Paris. Thusly, the elite US and German Imperial troops massed along the Rhineland. Gromov had something else in mind. He envisioned a massive pincer move through Baden and the Netherlands, enveloping the entire Allied front that would snap shut in Paris itself. Defense Minister Demichev was hesitant and instead put forward a plan for the use of tactical nuclear weapons all along the line to force an opening. Outcry in the Politburo was fierce, Semichastny speaking against it forcefully and leading to its demise (though the close vote led to certain clandestine discussion between certain members). Gromov’s plan was chosen. Operation Vasilevskiy was a go.

    On June 5, 1990, the skies over both Baden-Württemberg and the Netherlands were blanketed by the Red Air Force. Joined with massive gas and artillery bombardment, the fighters overwhelmed allied air cover on the first day – allowing Soviet strike fighters to strike at NATO formations at will. Included among the strikes was a secret weapon. Developed with furious field testing in Siberia, the Father of All Bombs was a thermobaric weapon similar to the American “Daisy Cutter.” The same blast power of 44 tons of TNT, the Red Air Force used it in direct support role and blasted many holes in the Allied defenses. The airstrikes were joined by mass airborne landings in Alsace and the Rhine delta. Allied planners had never expected the Soviets to launch such attacks and were caught off guard. By June 7th, the Soviets had crossed the Rhine in the Netherlands and reached it in Baden.

    The Northern Pincer was operated by the 1st Byelorussian Front (a Great Patriotic War unit revived for national unity purposes) commanded by General Anatoli Tchernitsov. Pulling a reverse Market Garden move, he intended not to get bogged down the same way the British had in WWII. Tchernitsov wisely avoided the distraction of trying to wheel around and seize Amsterdam as some in STAVKA wished, instead directing his 1st and 2nd Shock Army spearheads at the Rhine crossings at Utrecht and Arnhem respectively.

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    With Soviet airborne infantry holding key positions in the two towns, the Soviets smashed against the multinational Allied defenders. Fighting was fierce, bridging units racing to get armor across while soviet infantry often paddled across in rubber boats. The Allies – especially the Dutch, fighting on their home turf – fought like wildcats but intense Soviet air and gas attacks caused their lines to crumble after four days. The Waal and Muese rivers were used by the Allies to stall the oncoming Soviet assault, but were underdefended with many Dutch and Belgian troops bottled up in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, both targets of intense terror bombing. Unlike WWII, the Dutch refused to surrender as the war moved fully into Belgium.

    The Southern Pincer was conducted by the 1st Ukrainian Front (another WWII throwback) under the Battle of Koblenz veteran General Valentin Bobryshev. Taking over the new command, the long-stagnant South German theater roared to life as the Red Army blasted past the killing fields of Stuttgart towards the Rhine. As with the 1st Byelorussian, significant airborne infantry forces had been landed in Alsace and created enough chaos in the French lines for the USSR to reach the Rhine. Bridging units were brought up, and everything thrown against Jacques Massu’s defenses – anchored by the mighty and well-equipped French 2nd Army under General Amedee-Marc Monchal at Strasbourg. However, heavy rain grounded many aircraft, allowing the Soviets to marshal more planes for the critical objective – crossing the Rhine.


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    Once the Soviets had crossed the Rhine, General Bobryshev called in the air force. A total of eight FOABs were dropped – a fifth of the remaining arsenal of them – all around the road networks and French defenses behind Strasbourg. Trapped within and savaged beyond saving, it took one day of furious assault by rear units for Monchal to accept the inevitable. The 2nd Army surrendered en masse, Gromov and Bobryshev granting it full military honors in doing so. After a day’s rest to digest the massive haul, the 1st Ukrainian Front continued its drive through the open country of central France.

    Panic hit the streets of Paris. The train stations were packed with people desperate to escape the oncoming Soviet horde. Highways congested with the exodus made for excellent targets for the Red Air Force, Moscow giving the green light to strafe and assault the refugees with gas and cluster munitions – only sowing further panic. Mitterrand, convening a glum cabinet in the bunker underneath the Elysee Palace, informed their Allies of their vote. Unless Massu could stop the Soviet advance, then France would resort to a nuclear first strike to protect the homeland.

    Informed of this, the old warrior threw himself into preventing the disaster. Nearly a million and a half men were fielded east-central France, about half anchored to Mulhouse, Chaumont, Metz, and Verdun. Their goals were to hold at all costs and hem the Soviets in to advance on Nancy. The 1st Ukrainian was forced to detach considerable forces to the north while the smaller 2nd Ukrainian Front was ordered to push south (it would advance as far as Dijon). Nancy was the site of a vicious two day battle that found the Soviets forcing the French back. Massu, however, counted on this. He planned on putting everything he had in a hastily prepared defensive position at the small town of Saint-Dizier – the last hardpoint between Bobryshev and Paris itself. It seemed as if everyone was prepared for nuclear war, but Massu remained confident.

    upload_2019-4-1_15-29-20.png

    For six days the Marne turned red with blood. Channeling the spirit of Verdun, Massu conducted himself as a man decades younger. Thousands of tanks clashed as the French countered the Soviet advance with furious counterattacks. The various villages around the city etched themselves in French legend with every Soviet attack repulsed or bled by titanic armored clashes or human wave attacks backed up with gas and artillery. Casualty estimates were larger among the French, but in the end it was Bobryshev – not Massu – that was forced to stand down and scramble to find a different avenue of attack.

    Meanwhile, the 1st Byelorussian Front reached their prize target. After capturing Eindoven, Ghent, and Antwerp, General Tchernitsov had reached the NATO headquarters of Brussels itself. Colin Powell took personal command of Army Group Flanders, assigning Dutch General Adrianus van der Vils as the commander of the city defenses themselves. STAVKA ordered the city captured by any means necessary, so Marshal Gromov reluctantly agreed to the use of FOABs on the city itself. His directive was to ignore the civilian areas, but a sense of desperation on the Soviet side plus the hounding of the commissars led to this rule being ignored lest one be arrested for defeatism.


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    Civilian casualties were massive, as were that on the Allied side, but the multinational coalition held. The city was choked with death and flame, each force furiously fighting over block by block, house by house. Britain and the US threw small scale reserves into the fight from the eastern flank. Eventually, as with St. Dizier, the Soviet offensive sputtered out. Having essentially captured all but a small part of the Netherlands and driven deep into France, Marshal Gromov scrambled to move the last reserves he had to finally break through and achieve victory. God, however, had other plans.

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    Gambling hard, Gromov had left the 2nd Byelorussian and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts stripped of their most elite units, instead largely manned by B-tier units and their Warsaw Pact allies. Against the bulk of the American and German Imperial armies, their plan was to use the defenses of the Rhine against a potential attack long enough for the two pincers to snap shut. Meeting, American commander Norman Schwarzkopf and German commander Gert Bastian planned an intense counteroffensive to distract the Soviets and force them to shift forces. Dubbed Operation Mjolnir after the legendary hammer of the Norse god Thor (although it was said that the Germans thought this, for the Americans it was named after the famous Marvel Comics hammer carried by Thor), the plan was to assault across the Rhine and recapture Hannover. Purely aggressive, the offensive hit the Soviets hard and managed to eliminate every bridgehead the Soviets had in Germany west of the Rhine. However, the fighting across the Rhine was fierce, and there were worries that the offensive would peter out.

    In German history, the Prussian nation was similarly threatened with complete destruction at the hands of Russian invaders. During the Seven Years War, upon their massive defeat at the Battle of Kunersdorf in 1759, Fredrick the Great wrote that Prussia was going to be destroyed. However, the Russians failed to capitalize on their victory and soon thereafter the Empress Elizabeth died and was replaced by the pro-Prussian Peter III, who ended the war. It was dubbed the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg. Now, under the long-descendant of Fredrick the Great, the Second Miracle was forthcoming. With the crossing of the Rhine and the recapture of Bonn, the Soviets planned a scorched earth campaign to eat into the Allied advance so that the western pincers could snap shut. However, the 1st Army of the GDR had other ideas. There was chaos in East Berlin ever since Markus Wolf had disappeared. This sapped morale in the GDR Army, and the prevalent pan-German sentiment plunged it to a nadir. Ordered by the Stasi to execute civilians, one battalion in the Kassel reached the breaking point and mutinied. This spread until the entire 1st Army under Heinz Kessler had risen and defected. A miracle indeed.

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    The rebellion of the GDR forces caused a chain reaction within West Germany. Partisans attacked the Soviets at every occasion, leading to disruptions in supply lines and communications. The German and American forces took advantage, doubling their assault and vectoring in every single fighter and strike fighter that they could into the sector. Throughout late July and early August the Allies scythed through Lower Saxony and Hesse, the goal of capturing Hanover completed on July 23rd and changed to the recapture of Hamburg. Danish/German/Irish forces north of the Kiel Canal in Schleswig broke out south, causing even further chaos. Gromov ordered the forces in Holland to withdraw before Hamburg fell, and a total of half a million managed to before the 1st Panzer Army under Generaloberst Ernst Kreuse entered the city to cheering civilians.

    Given the sheer number of forces trapped (over one million, which would surrender in October) in the Netherlands once the jaws snapped shut, Marshal Gromov ignored orders for a counterattack north by the 1st and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts and instead evacuated them east of the Rhine. For the first time on the Western Theater, the USSR had tasted complete defeat the likes of Stalingrad or Kursk. The Allies were still overstretched and digesting their gains, further offensives out of the cards for months. Desires from Washington, London, Bonn, and Paris to resume the attack got negatives from Brussels…

    …Until the GDR imploded.

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    “We hold our heads high, despite the price we have paid, because freedom is priceless.”

    -Lech Walesa-

    1990 in the German Democratic Republic had been a nightmare. Out of nowhere the General Secretary, the enigmatic spook Markus Wolf, had disappeared without a trace. Nearly a decade after the war ended it would be proven that he defected to Chile by way of then-neutral Sweden in exchange for compromising every Warsaw Pact agent in said nation, but at the time the prevailing wisdom was that he had been removed by the KGB or Stasi hardliners (many officials of the Warsaw Pact allies had found themselves deposed in such a way). Taking over a shaky government mired in pan-German sympathy was longtime communist official Egon Krenz. Unable to rely on anyone, he gave full internal security control to the KGB. The KGB hit the GDR as badly as it did the occupied German Empire. Whole villages were burned to the ground, their inhabitants shot or herded into concentration camps – one KGB auxiliary officer, Andrei Chikatilo, was particularly brutal and personally ordered over a dozen massacres of civilians in prime insurgent regions for which he received the nickname der Schlächter (the slaughterer). Reaching a boiling point, the GDR mutiny during Operation Mjolnir and the fall of Hamburg sparked a massive uprising across both Germanies. Soviet forces lost control of much of the countryside and urban areas of the German Empire, pre-war firearms legalization initiatives having armed the populace considerably, and in the GDR things were just as bad.

    Meanwhile, the situation in Poland was no better. Increased belt tightening by the ruling junta was chafing the population as President Wojciech Jaruzelski committed more and more Polish troops to the war. Solidarity organizers that had gone underground after the December Coup had never stopped marshaling support among the populace. Aided by clandestine assistance from the Western Allies, these Freyist guerrilla movements stockpiled weapons and ammunition for the inevitable rebellion. Things erupted when the Polish commanders of the Turin Pocket – following their being surrounded by the British after failing to capture the city – ordered their men to fight to the death. Only, it didn’t turn out that way. Emulating his namesake with Attila the Hun, Pope Leo journeyed to the pocket and personally asked the troops to surrender. Nearly all devout Catholics, following a mutiny the entire pocket surrendered. When news of this reached Warsaw on August 27, 1990, the aptly-named Polish Home Army struck. Lech Walesa emerged from his hiding place (having secretly entered Poland the previous winter) and coordinated the capture of Warsaw itself in a redux of the WWII uprising. Poland went from a safe behind the lines state into a warzone, rebels fighting with government and Soviet forces for control of the cities and countryside.

    With the chaos gripping both Germanies and Poland – and spreading to Austria the Czech Republic as well – the two-month halt in offensive operations after Mjolnir was scrapped as Allied high command patched together a new plan from scratch. Lower Saxony, the Rhineland, Alsace, and Hesse were packed with military traffic for days to transfer forces. In late August, Powell presented Rumsfeld, Churchill, Frey, Kaiser Georg, Mitterrand, and the other allied leaders with the new plan prepared by General Norman Schwarzkopf, Field Marshal Jacques Massu, and Field Marshal Gert Bastian. Dubbed Operation Fenrir after the Norse wolf-demon, it consisted of a lightning strike to recapture Berlin, liberate the GDR and west Poland, and drive for Warsaw. Additionally, the southern German states would be liberated and once Warsaw was reached, Austria and the Czech Republic would be cleared of Warsaw Pact forces as well. Less than two weeks after the conclusion of Mjolnir, the artillery boomed and the aircraft swept forth as Fenrir began – the largest operation of the war.

    Given how East German units would just find themselves defecting en masse whenever encountering an Allied force, Krenz (hiding in his bunker beneath the Palace of the Republic) relied on Soviet forces to defend the city. The 10th Army anchored itself in the maze of the urban landscape, led by Colonel General Yevgeny Shaposhnikov. Given the rate of the Allied blitzkrieg, the initial defenses outside the city were reached upon five days following the beginning of Fenrir. Understanding the significance of the old Prussian and German capitol, Powell had structured his forces. American armored forces under John Yeosock would drive on Potsdam on the southern flank, French/Danish/UK forces under Danish General Christian Hvidt would hold the northern flank, while Ernst Kreuse would lead the Imperial German and GDR defectors straight into Berlin.

    Kreuse employed an American tactic called a “Thunder Run,” which had been used in Ecuador to large success. Relying on intense close air support, his armored and mechanized units charged headlong into stunned Soviet defenders, shooting up anything in their way. They’d then hunker down far behind the main line and allow infantry to mop up everything to their rear. The tactic wreaked havoc on Soviet defensive planning and supply lines through the city, civilians often using the advancing columns to rise up on their own. Slowly but surely the frontline pushed deeper through West Berlin.

    upload_2019-3-31_23-4-23.png
    The cinematic moment in the battle occurred as the 12th Panzergrenadier Division smashed through Soviet defenses in the Tiergarten to overlook both the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag. A reverse play of the endgame to the 1945 Battle of Berlin, the Soviet defenders fought in a vicious, to the death struggle against their hated enemy. However, the German Panzergrenadiers threw themselves on the Soviets in a fanatical bloodlust, breaking through – recapturing the two famous landmarks – and driving forward through Unter den Linden. The city shook with artillery and tank treads on September 18th found the Panzergrenadiers reaching the Palace of the Republic itself. Soviet shock troops and East German honor guards fell in a bloody hand to hand fight as Krenz’ bunker was stormed by the Panzergrenadiers. Capturing the last leader of the GDR, he would sign the unconditional surrender of his nation three days later upon the last Soviet soldier fleeing Berlin before the flanking Allied armored columns surround them at Frankfurt on the Oder.

    Ferocity evident in how the Allies attacked relentlessly – finally on enemy territory in the Western Front, they spared no tactic in smashing the retreating Soviets in liberating Warsaw before winter set in – the Soviets only increased their brutality in response. Aside from nuclear/biological taboos and the rules of the Geneva Convention, all limits on warfare had been lifted. Daisy Cutters and FOABs became commonplace. Gas was thrown with wild abandon. KGB auxiliaries (as more and more units were sent to fight rebels back home, the USSR emptied prisons, conscripted from asylums, and drafted zealous dregs from society to terrorize the occupied nations) had entire cities gassed and massacred what was later determined to be 350,000 people in Germany, Poland, Austria, and the Czech Republic during Fenrir. Though most were in regions teeming with partisan activity, many occasions were simply the Soviets savaging the local population in a collective rage. Seeing such atrocities only drove the Allies harder.

    The overall commander of the Western Sector (Germany, Italy, and the Balkans) was Marshal Viktor Kulikov. He was of the hardline faction and had clashed with Marshal Gromov considerably. If it hadn’t been for Gromov’s popularity among the troops and the people it would have been likely that Kulikov would have fired him. In any case, Kulikov – having ordered the vast majority of the harsh anti-partisan actions – began preparing a scratch defensive fortification belt stretching from Gdansk through Lodz and curving around to Wroclaw (Breslau). The goal was to protect Warsaw and stabilize the line, but soon the main armored columns of the American-led assault force reached the outskirts of Lodz.

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    General Schwarzkopf and French General Jean-Phillippe Douin led the main columns of attack and moved to swarm the scratch Soviet defenders to keep the drive to Warsaw going. The Soviets, however, funneled troops in a counterattack (including thousands of Polish militiamen forced at gunpoint to fight). Furious fighting ensued, and at one point on the third day it looked like the Soviets were about to turn the American flank and secure a decisive victory. Seeing this, the reserve force of the Irish Corps charged into the fray. Having been led by Lt. General Tadgh O’Neill since they were first deployed to the Kiel Canal to protect Denmark, they replicated the bravery of their countrymen at Vinegar Hill, Finland in fending off furious Soviet counterattacks throughout the night centered on the village of Belchatow. Soon, it fell out of steam just in time for a column of British forces reinforced Schwarzkopf and allowed for the defenses to be overcome. The Kulikov line was pierced, but the initiative was lost for over a week as the army rested and the flank was secured through a drive on Krakow.

    In Warsaw, the Armia Krajowa was facing a tenuous situation. Allied supplies were coming in via air insertion and they were bolstered by a strong force of American Delta Force and Rangers, but the Polish government troops were massing. Getting Soviet Spetznaz and KGB support (one Vladimir Putin would be in charge of logistics for the operation, though no evidence had been found he took part in any atrocity), Polish dictator Wojciech Jaruzelski took personal command. Over a month’s time he bombarded the Home Army held areas with gas, explosives, and incendiary weaponry. Civilian distinctions were abandoned, everyone within Walesa’s little pocket was a target. Fighting with the courage of their fathers and grandfathers against the Nazis before them, the Home Army beat back every assault thrown at them. Even still, by October they had been relegated to a half dozen pockets encompassing mere city blocks.

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    At last, the miracle Walesa and his command had been praying for arrived. General Schwarzkopf had arrived at last, smashing into the city from the south while the French hit from the north in a double envelopment. The Home Army erupted out of their defenses and went on the offensive, swarming the beleaguered government lines and securing massive prisoner hauls – one of them being Jaruzelski himself. Before the angry Poles could lynch him, he was forced at gunpoint and taken by Walesa’s own bodyguards. Before the collected Allied generals, he signed the unconditional surrender of the Polish People’s Republic. Solidarity Party members met in the Sejm building to declare the Free Polish Republic on October 20th. For the first time since 1939, Poland was finally free.

    Though Warsaw was liberated, the Allied offensive took one more month to conclude. With the fall of Munich in mid-September driving all Warsaw Pact troops out of Germany, the capture of Wroclaw-Breslau allowed for Franco/German/American forces to turn the mountainous border and attack occupation forces in Czechia. Battles in Passau, Graz, Salzburg, Linz, Pilsen, Prague, and Wagram forced a Warsaw Pact rout into Hungary and the Balkans. A force of German and French marines landed on Zeeland and recaptured Copenhagen from the Soviets, liberating all of Denmark. The recapture of Krakow and the inconclusive battle of Brno found the exhausted Allies at the breaking point of their supply lines – Fenrir had been impromptu and was fueled on ferocity and aggressiveness more than adequate supply. With the sheer force of winter arriving, Powell called off the offensive and ordered all forces to halt at the current frontline.

    upload_2019-3-31_22-57-22.png
    In spite of the exhaustion and chaotic condition of the frontline forces, Operation Fenrir was a decisive success. Poland and East Germany had been knocked out of the war, a friendly government installed in the former and the latter beginning procedures to reunite with the west under the Imperial banner. Forgetting being driven back into their home territory, over a million crack troops had been captured (not to mention the capitulation of another million trapped in the Netherlands Pocket). Chaos and uprisings at a very harsh winter – civilian gasoline nonexistent and civilian oil use cut down to the bare minimum – riots and uprisings were sprouting up all across the USSR. Early November saw the seventy-third anniversary of the October Revolution. Many within the Soviet empire doubted it could survive to the seventy-fourth.

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    Thanks to @NotA_Potato for the wikiboxes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
    B3L, NotA_Potato and Zagan like this.
  7. The Congressman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Good ol' USA
    On August 31, 1990, the torpor that had engulfed the Italian Front since the defeat at Turin and the failure to breach the Second Berlusconi Line ended in fire as the hills of Tuscany erupted in flame and poison. Echoing the call of Prime Minister Achille Occhetto to "Liberate the land of the Romans from the shackles of tyranny," over 2.5 million Allied soldiers hurled themselves at the Soviet lines as Operation Julius Caesar - Guilio Caesare in Italian - began.

    With much needed men and material having been diverted to halt Mjolnir and Fenrir to the north, Marshal Kobets knew his position was untenable. Being able to hold off attacks on Milan/Genoa and only give away modest ground in the south in the first week, the collapse of static resistance in the north only confirmed his worst fear. If the Allies liberated Austria quickly enough, with just a small push they could smash through to Trieste and cut off his entire two Fronts and destroy them as they did the 1st Beylorussian Front in the Netherlands. Conferring with his friend Marshal Gromov in Germany, Kobets reluctantly but decisively ordered a full withdrawal back into Yugoslavia. The hope to knock Italy out of the war was over. The USSR had lost, but at least they could salvage a unified fighting force to make up for the losses in the north.

    The orders were simple, hold for as long as possible in the north while the southern forces could withdraw in good order. It was much harder than anticipated, the Anglo/Spanish forces relentless on their attack of the Milan/Genoa line. Portuguese reinforcements recaptured Genoa - the city having become a poisoned slaughterhouse in the meantime while the British managed to clear out Milan by mid-September. In the south, Kobets and Romanian General Vasile Milea had only just managed to prevent a complete collapse at Siena. Florence fell to the Italian juggernaut on September 26th, Bologna on October 7th, and Ravenna on the 9th. What little Polish forces remained - those that didn't mutiny and defect - sacrificed themselves at Cremona to allow for the Yugoslavians to patch up defensive positions in Mantua in mid-October. This allowed for the southern group to successfully escape despite heavy casualties.

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    The resulting slog to the pre-war border was rapid but costly, both sides expending massive amounts of men and material in vicious battles. Mantua, Verona, Padua, Venice, all great cities leveled by artillery or by Warsaw Pact scorched earth tactics. Brutality by KGB forces was legendary, whole villages massacred. Incidents of Italian formations murdering POWs in cold blood were not uncommon, and Italian commanders looked the other way for the most part.

    The hope was to prepare defensive positions along the WWI battlefields of the Isonzo River, but a collapse among two Soviet and five Bulgarian divisions by an amphibious landing by the Italians at Grignano forced Kobets to withdraw into Yugoslavia itself. Slovenia fell quickly, but a Warsaw Pact rally in heavy snows resulted in the halting of the Allied offensive at Zagreb. Italy was the scene of massive jubilation as their entire country was fully liberated, and Julius Caesar had Belgrade supremely worried. Ethnic tension was boiling, and the entire country was in danger of imploding at the slightest pressure.

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    "Are you positive, General?" It was odd to see Colin Powell in civilian garb, but with some hair dye added to the mix it was enough to fool the press observers watching the White House. "I am not keen on this war lasting another year... or more." Bequeathing his successor with a massive guerrilla war or God forbid a nuclear war was not what Donald Rumsfeld wanted his legacy to be.

    "Most certainly, Mr. President." Powell stood ramrod straight. "The Soviet Union is near collapse internally and is running out of allies. The Timurid rebels have taken Tashkent and Chechnya has become ungovernable. British contacts in the Ukraine have determined that an uprising is imminent, and the Chinese have informed us through back channels that Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the new governor of Irkutsk, is preparing to secede from the USSR."

    "Wait, the Chinese are telling us this?" Rumsfeld was shocked. "They fucking..." He took deep breaths, controlling his anger. "They attacked us."

    John Danforth cleared his throat. "We are not at war with them technically, Mr. President. They seem to only want to check the ambitions of the Japanese."

    "Fair enough... so this plan of yours - Sledgehammer - you think it'll cause the Soviet government to collapse before next summer? Without us having to occupy all of Russia?"

    Powell nodded. "Yes."

    "Do it."

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    Colin Powell in civilian garb to disguise him to observers. Based on the statements of the WH photogropher, this was the meeting in which Gen. Powell proposed Operation Sledgehammer to President Rumsfeld. Powell and Rumsfeld both aged significantly due to the war.

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    On October 31, 1980, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Kingdom of Afghanistan both declared war on the Warsaw Pact. For the Central Asian rebellion in particular, the entrance of the Afghans was a gift from Allah. Under the orders of Zahir Shah, two Afghan armies marched into the USSR. One, led by Abdul Rashid Dotsum, moved to lift the Soviet siege of Duchambe which had been going on since August. The other, led by Ahmad Shah Massoud, combined with the main rebel army under Dangatar Kopekov to begin the advance on Tashkent itself.

    Based in Samarkand, Kopekov had been fighting a stalemated front since the city fell in early September. Formerly a top general on the European front, his objections to the suicide attacks for the Central Asian units in the Red Army landed in his exile, for which he turned traitor and now led the rebellion - which styled itself the Timurid Liberation Front. He knew only torpor and attention on other fronts (Europe for the Soviets and Iraq for the Iranians), kept the Red Army from crushing him. Now with the open support of the Afghans he went back on the offensive and aimed for the Uzbek SSR capital and central base for counterinsurgency operations in the region. Having lead the beleaguered Soviet forces since the Asgebat campaign during the summer of 1990, General Igor Rodionov threw his vastly outnumbered force into what was obviously a hopeless fight. Nevertheless, the defenses of the city were strong and he hoped he could obtain a miracle by at least bleeding the enemy army until Amaty could reinforce him.

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    If the USSR could have only barely held against the rebel army that alone outnumbered them five to one, when adding well-equipped (for this front anyway) and well-trained Afghan regulars with 1950s era weaponry (several batallions in the Central Asian front were armed with WWII stockpiles such as T-34 tanks and Mosin–Nagant rifles) they were screwed. In any case, the fought as long as their supplies held out. General Rodionov had two choices before him when the last rail line out of the city was cut off. Get massacred by the rebels and mutinying men under his command like at Duchambe, or take the offer given by General Massoud and be shipped off to a POW camp in Afghanistan. Against Moscow's orders he took the latter course. Tashkent passed to rebel control, and with it Central Asia.

    From Samarkand, the victories allowed Kopekov and the other representatives from all the Central Asian republics to formally declare their independence. For the entire week of Christmas the various factions engaged in furious debate. The Pakistanis favored a strong-Presidential Islamic republic (essentially a dictatorship) while the Turks, Israelis, and Western allies felt a constitutional republic was the best avenue. However, given they had provided the most support, the faction backed by Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, Jordan, and Egypt won out. On New Year's Eve 1990, the Second Gurkani was proclaimed in Samarkand - more commonly known as the Second Timurid Empire in the west. Government tentatively modeled after Zahir Shah's Afghanistan or Sultan's Saudi Arabia, the founders gravitated to the old Empire of the great Tamerlane for nationalistic sentiment (such exhortations to the ancient emperor had been used to great effect to keep the various nationalities together). Dangatar Kopekov proclaimed himself as Khan of the empire, the heir to Tamerlane and the guardian of Central Asia.

    Quickly, the Middle Eastern allies officially recognize the Timurid Empire as the newest member of the Anti-Warsaw Pact Coalition. This effectively forced the other allies to do so one by one starting with the United States and Israel. Soviet control on everything south of Almaty collapsed, the final garrison troops fleeing Bishkek just ahead of the mobs. Pro-Timurid riots gripped the Kazakh SSR throughout the hard winter months - exacerbated as the KGB attempted to use fuel oil deprivation to keep the villages and towns in line. The question on everyone's mind was how long could the house of cards stay up.

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    Jiang Qing was dying. It was a state secret to all but the top eschelons of the Politburo, but all knew she wouldn't last to the summer, let alone to 1992. Most of the government was being ran in a triumvirate of Foreign Minister Deng Xiaoping, Premier of the State Council Li Peng, and Deputy Chairman of the Central Military Commission Liu Huaqing. Each man was determined to make China great in the power vacuum that was soon to emerge following the USSR's likely defeat - at least how they saw it. Alliances were proposed with the reorganized government of India, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and the Entebbe Pact - all through secret back channels. But in order for China to secure it's position it had to disentangle itself from the intervention into the Soviet Far East.

    Concern over the Japanese entry into the war had caused Jiang Qing to send the PVA into Outer Manchuria, but her subsequent illness and withdrawal from public life allowed Deng, Li, and Liu to take a more pragmatic approach. The resumption of the Allied offensive that was smashing up the Amur River gave the Chinese limited time, and they played their hand hard.

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    The famous handshake between Reagan and Deng Xiaoping in Cambodia. After famously appointing John Kennedy as his special envoy, Reagan enjoyed his diplomatic tour of Asia.
    In January, Deng Xiaoping met Special Envoy to the East Ronald Reagan in neutral (but allied leaning) Cambodia for a summit between the PRC and Japan. The goal was to mediate an end to the Chinese intervention while also limiting Japanese territorial demands in the region. Reagan had ended up promising all of Outer Manchuria and considerable portions of the Yakutsk region to Japan in exchange for them entering the war, but quickly the Japanese delegation informed Prime Minister Mishima that this was untenable. Under immense pressure the Japanese accepted China's demands to reduce their territorial ambitions. To the international Press, Deng and Reagan announced the end to the Chinese Intervention and China's ending of all arms shipments to the USSR.

    Secretly provided weapons by the Chinese and Indian (post-Coup) governments, one Soviet governor had enough with the Communist regime. Promoted up the ranks rather quickly due to the more experienced men being sent to manage conquered areas, Irkutsk Oblast Governor Vladimir Zhirinovsky had become disenchanted with communism. Believing it to be a failed ideology, he secretly adopted fascist, ultranationalist Russian views and collected deputies and officers that shared his desire for a different Russia. Encouraged by China and India, he waited for his moment.

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    Governor Zhirinovsky speaking personally to separatist demonstrators. His term as a wartime governor that refused to copy hardline cackdown tactics made him quite popular. He would not continue them in the future.
    When the end to the Chinese intervention effectively dooming the Far Eastern Army to the Allies, Zhirinovsky seized the day. Massacring all loyal KGB and Political Officers within the Oblast, he and 80,000 men and irregulars declared the "National Republic of Greater Russia" on January 17, 1991. Within the region, hatred and anger at the government in Moscow led to numerous defections to Zhirinovsky, who promised bread and fuel from the aid packages given to him by China and India. Within a month, Ulan-Ude, Chita, and Krasnoyarsk had fallen to him - this news was joined by the capture of Grozny by Chechen rebels and Almaty put under siege by the Timurid/Afghan forces.

    Civil war was beginning to tear the carcass of the USSR apart, and they still had the Allied army preparing to invade to the West.

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    Following the massive defeat at Kampala, the main front in Uganda remained silent while the Allies and Entebbe Pact shifted their efforts to the side fronts. Rhodesian forces smashed into the Sudanese flank to relieve the Zairean city of Kisangani, while Kenyan mechanized units raced through the Somali desert to liberate Mogadishu. A massive drive by Angolan forces ended the siege of Kinshasa in May after two years – leaving the garrison and civilians walking skeletons. A further assault on Brazzaville caused communist Congo to surrender unilaterally. In Gabon, the incumbent socialist President abruptly switched sides, signing the Entebbe Pact and turning his state into an ally. Spanish Guinea was subsequently handed over. Finally, in May, the Entebbe Pact and Allies resumed the offensive after significant South African reserve forces were shipped north due to a dying out of the rebellion in the heterogeneous country. They clashed with Sudanese and Ethiopian forces in the Battle of Juba. Victorious, they largely secured the southern part of Sudan and geared up for the coming fights ahead.

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    The battle of Port Harcourt had raged for months, no end in sight as the Nigerians and their allies threw division after division at the Commonwealth lines. Biafran units put up a fanatical defense to protect their homes. However, without the British the city would have eventually fallen, Royal Navy aircraft and gunfire providing the needed firepower support to hold the lines.

    It would not be Biafra where the decisive battle would occur, though. It would be to the west in Ghana and Mali. Resting and refitting from their successful defeat of the communist invasion of the Ivory Coast, the UK-led Allied army prepared to reclaim the Commonwealth Realm from red domination. Needed supplies were scarce as the Battle of the Rhine and the war in South America took over Allied focus. The offensive thus began in February, British tanks smashing through the lines at Kumasi and gunning for Accra. Ghana’s army disintegrated, mobs of anti-communist rioters storming the palace only three weeks following the offensive. On March 12th, British forces marched into Accra and democratic resistance leader Jerry Rawlings was installed as interim President of the transition government. Meanwhile, Mali quickly fell to Algerian forces and the occupation of Burkina-Faso was ended.

    With the collapse of the Ghanaian government, Nigeria and Cameroon moved forces away from the Biafran front and the occupation of Chad and Ubangi-Shari to reinforce the west – resulting in King Bokassa reclaiming the capitol from the retreating communists. This turned out to be a disaster. Charging like a cornered rat, Biafran forces smashed through the Nigerian lines to finally liberate much of their nation. Enugu was recaptured on April 11th, Benin City on April 28th, and the Cameroonian capitol of Douala fell on May 21, 1990. Cameroon would exit the war upon the deposing of the communist leaders by a coalition of pro-French and pro-Entebbe Pact opposition figures. Nigeria wasn’t so easily cowed. In spite of much of the country swath with rioters and anti-communist partisans, Tunji Otegbe geared up for the massive showdown between them and their Anglo-Biafran blood enemies at Lagos.
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    One of the largest battles to befall the African continent raged through the entire month of June. Flooding the city with fanatical communist guard forces – which had an infamous reputation for suppressing Islamic uprisings in the north and were responsible for the genocide of Biafrans during the war in which 1,750,000 were massacred, many by machete – the Nigerians drenched the streets with blood. The British obeyed the rules of the war, but the Biafrans and other African allies were not so kind. They bombed and shelled indiscriminately, and the Biafrans took their vengeance. Tens of thousands of civilians died every week, joining the hundreds of thousands that the Biafran Igbo forces had massacred in their blood feud with the Hausa and Yoruba peoples. Hangings, decapitations, and death by flamethrower (the preferred means served on the communist guards) left many a British soldier appalled and traumatized.

    General Secretary Otegbe was ready to have his nation die in the flames, ordering Abuja fortified to the hilt. However, his military wasn’t keen on this. On June 30th, he was overthrown and a pro-Entebbe Pact government installed, which promptly capitulated unconditionally to the Allies. The West African theater had ended.

    Not much could shock anyone observing WWIII, but that sentiment was proven wrong when, on June 1, Libya declared war on the Warsaw Pact. Led by the enigmatic General Mummar al-Gaddafi since 1985, they had sat out the war but kept a pro-Communist neutrality policy. However, they kept close relations with the Entebbe Pact and bided their time. Pulling a Mozambique, their forces were rested and fresh when they barnstormed through Chad, liberating it. The second – larger – prong of the army joined with Egypt to make the final assault on Sudan south from the Aswan Dam region – aiming for the Sudanese capitol.

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    Sudan had insisted on making Khartoum the Lagos of the Nile river, but this was ended after a mere two days of battle when General Omar al-Bashir personally executed his leaders and signed the unconditional surrender (promised by the Entebbe Pact that he would be supported after the war). Another member of the African Socialist Alliance had been knocked out.

    Only Ethiopia remained in the fight against the Allies, protected by the rough terrain of the highlands. However, the Derg remained in tenuous control of the cities and countryside. Eritrea was in full rebellion – supported by Egypt, Libya, and the Entebbe Pact. French and British forces landed back in Djibouti to recapture it, joining with Somali and Kenyan troops to liberate all of Somalia. Increasingly harsh measures were taken to keep control, but by August the populace had enough and began rioting. On August 5, 1990, a group of army officers launched a coup against the communist Junta. Marshal Tafari Benti was put under arrest and overtures were made to the Allies. On August 8, Zera Yacob Amha Selassie – having been in exile in South Africa – arrived in Addis Ababa to a hero’s welcome. He was placed in charge of the government as the precondition of the Allies and Entebbe Pact, and signed the surrender agreement (part of the expansion of the Entebbe Pact, now comprising Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Malawi, Libya, Mozambique, and the Lozi Kingdom created out of portions of western Zambia).

    After two years of brutal conflict, Africa was finally at peace.

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    The world at the height of the Soviet advance.

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    A month had gone by since the conclusion of the Central African War in August, the leaders of countries that made up the Entebbe Pact (including its newest members, except for Sudanese leader General Omar al-Bashir) had gathered in the conference room of Ugandan President Idi Amin Dadda’s presidential palace in Kampala. The topic of discussion was drawing up the final peace deal. The division of Zambia had been concluded nicely. The other recent additions to the Pact have already had separate peace treaties now it was Ethiopia’s turn.

    No reparations were to be made (much to the outcry of the Kenyans and Somalians) but Addis Ababa was to transfer over the entirety of the Ogaden region to Mogadishu. Right now however, there was an argument between restored Ethiopian emperor Zera Yacob Amha Selassie of the Solomonic Dynasty and Somali president Mohamed Siad Barre over the transfer.

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    “This whole war started over the Ogaden which is rightfully Somali territory!” shouted Barre.

    “The Ogaden is Ethiopian territory!” shouted back Selassie. The war of words continued back and forth for a couple of minutes until Amin had had enough. He slammed his fists on the conference table.

    “Enough!” roared Amin. Everyone present was startled by the Ugandan’s outburst, including Amin’s aids and bodyguards. However, Zairean president Joseph Sese Seko Mobutu was not surprised - only raising an eyebrow and smirking. “If Ethiopia will not cede the Ogaden to Somalia then we will have no choice but to expel your country from the Entebbe Pact and resume the war. And this time we won’t stop simply because a new friendly government comes to power. We will not only force your countrymen to hand over the Ogaden at gunpoint but we’ll also set Eritrea free. Do you want that Zera?”

    “No, President Amin.” said the new emperor. Selassie then paused for few moments before speaking again to think long and hard about his circumstance. His people were exhausted from years of war and the turmoil before, during, and immediately after it. Truth be told he was only refusing Barre’s demand to save face with his countrymen but now if the result of refusal was a resumption of the war and the loss of not only Ogaden but Eritrea as well then he had no choice. The young emperor let out a heavy sigh. “After some thought, I have decided to agree to President Barre’s demand of transferring the Ogaden over to Somali rule.”

    Siad Barre smiled, knowing he had gotten what he wanted. Well aside from war reparations but Amin had made it abundantly clear that reparations were strictly off limits. Kenyan President, Barack Obama Sr. however wasn’t happy in the slightest - he felt Somalia was getting too much and Kenya wasn’t getting enough, his countrymen had shed their blood in the war just like everyone else had. And what had they got out of it all? Nothing but graves.

    There were elements of his government that wanted part of the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia but when he brought it up with Amin and Mobutu earlier, the two men denied him. Mobutu saying, “If you get Omo then Selassie will feel caged and it could lead to revanchist sentiment down the line. Best leave things as they stand, Barack.” Obama was brought out of his thoughts by Amin’s booming voice.

    [​IMG]
    “Excellent! And in exchange for the transfer, any and all aid to the Eritrean separatists will cease upon the completion of said transfer.” said Amin smiling. With that out of the way the leaders shook hands, smiled for the cameras, said their goodbyes. As Amin prepared to leave the conference room, Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi stopped him.

    “Amin, I need to talk to you about something.” said the Libyan.

    “Yes, what is it old friend?” asked the Ugandan. A couple of minutes were given so Amin could get into more comfortable clothing. He then joined Gaddafi and the two men walked and talked as they made their outside to enjoy the lovely day.

    [​IMG]
    “It’s about Sudan, or specifically the south of the country. There are separatists clamouring for their independence from Khartoum. I’ve tried to get in contact with Bashir and talk to him about it but he refuses to even to begin to listen to what I have to say. The man is stubborn.” said Gaddafi frustrated. “Members of my government are already starting to advocate for war.”

    Amin remained silent, deep in thought then he spoke.

    “I’ll hold a meeting between the two of you in Kigali a week from now. I’m sure we’ll be able reach an understanding.” said Amin. “Okay?”

    “Alright. I hope you can do it Idi.” said Gaddafi concerned.

    “Hey, I just convinced Selassie to hand over the Ogaden to Barre after a war was just fought. This will much easier.” said Amin laughing. “Goodbye my friend. Have a safe trip.”

    [​IMG]

    ----------------------------
    Through the entire 2nd Blitz, aside from one high-loss raid on Leningrad the Soviet interior had been untouched by strategic air attacks. The sheer vastness of the air defense network built up from the 1950s to now made it impossible to assault without murderous losses that the Allies were not willing to take. Much like the interior of the United States, the citizens worked, the factories belched out tank after tank, and the government hummed along. People were hungry, people were tired, and people grieved as their dead family members and neighbors never came home. None experienced the home front death that was being dished out by the Red Air Force across the world.

    Until Thanksgiving Day, 1990.

    As night set on European Russia that day, the air defense technicians were drinking vodka to fortify against the cold, huddling near fires and playing cards. Then hooting alarms went off over Moscow, Kiev, Chelyabinsk, and Magnitogorsk. Out of nowhere dozens of shapes appeared, and after barely a minute all had disappeared once again. In their wake were thousands of bombs filled to the brim with explosive, fragmentation bomblets, or incendiary fuel. Targets were industrial centers, rail hubs, or just civilian areas in plain old terror bombing. Additionally, the airborne radar aircraft and many SAM systems went offline as smaller shapes appeared mysteriously and snuffed them out, vanishing just as the larger shapes had.

    Such was the culmination of nearly six years of work by Northrup-Grumman and the US Government. One that had to go far more secretive following the Soviet Coup. One relegated to the tundras of Alaska and Canada to keep prying eyes at bay - until 116 bombers and 341 fighters were ready to be unleashed on the USSR.

    The age of stealth had begun.

    [​IMG]
    What had previously been a dark landscape below was now illuminated with roaring fires. The inferno exposed the buildings, the various concrete blocks the Soviets loved to build either wrecks or burning wrecks. Even the more beautiful facades of St. Basil's and the Kremlin could be made out in the orange-yellow illumination - if one focused hard enough.

    "YEAAAAH!" hooted the copilot. "Fuck you, Ivan! This one's for Los Angeles, motherfucker!"

    "And not even one SAM radar locked in on our signature," breathed the pilot in awe. The B-87 Spirit had the radar cross section of a steel ball, he was told. The pilot hadn't truly grasped it yet. He did now.

    Around them, the collection of F-19 Draculas were already heading for home - the smaller fuel tanks on the fighters preventing them from being based any farther than the UK. The B-87s had a longer range, and were largely based in Fairbanks, Alaska or one of the new bases in Northern Canada.

    "Fuck Spirit. This big mother is the motherfucking 'Moscow Bomber.'" The pilot laughed at that. It was quite apt.

    Thanks to @NotA_Potato for the wikiboxes and @TheTexasRanger for the maps
     
    B3L, Lisowczycy, CountofDooku and 2 others like this.
  8. The Congressman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Good ol' USA
    “I have met the enemy, and he is dead.”

    -John Roland-

    Cusco had been a catastrophic defeat for the Warsaw Pact in South America. The largest battle yet fought in the Western Hemisphere, it had ended the invasion of Peru and brought the Allies into Bolivia. The Spring of 1990 found American and Peruvian-led forces smashing through the defenses around Lake Titicaca and the largely Brazilian defenses of the capitol of La Paz. Fighting was fierce and most rules of war had disintegrated with the animosity between the various sides. However, the Allied juggernaut would not be deterred as General Hal Moore entered the poisoned ruins of La Paz in mid-May.

    The war between Chile and Argentina had entered a blood feud phase. After each side found their cities targeted in an ever-escalating series of strategic air campaigns culminating in the use of cluster and chemical weapons bombs on civilian areas nightly, all sense of restraint had left. Chilean President Augusto Pinochet and Argentinian General Secretary Mario Roberto Santucho ordered all but flagrant violations of the Geneva convention were on the table at the commencement of the Chilean fall offensive. After being stagnant for nearly a year, Antofagasta was finally recaptured by Chile as the last Warsaw Pact toehold over the Pacific was extinguished. Reinforcements to the Patagonian front found the Argentine defenses collapse – by the end of May, Comodoro Rivadavia had fallen and all of Patagonia was in Chilean hands

    Fighting, however, was centered on the Pampas. Fresh from capturing Mendoza, General Humberto Sinclair of the Chilean 1st Army used the secure mountain passes and air transport routes to stock up supplies and material throughout the month of March and April. Prepared to prove that Chile could take the mantle of armored warfare, a short artillery barrage on April 30th preceded the offensive all along the line. Argentine forces were smashed back as the Chileans raced across the Pampas. Nothing seemed to stand in their way.

    [​IMG]

    Sinclair, however, had made a grievous error. Distrusting British intelligence that Buenos Aires was largely undefended, he had nixed suggestions by his staff to ignore northern Argentina and race for the capitol, winning the war then and there. Worried about a potential Brazilian counterattack on lengthy supply lines, he instead decided to capture the city of Cordoba before resuming his offensive. This played right into the hands of Argentine commander Ernesto Crespo. Fortifying the city into a fortress, for over a month he bled the onrushing Chileans with every weapon and tactic in his arsenal. The city fell in June, but at the cost of nearly half of Sinclair’s best offensive units. When a British naval task force arrived in the Rio del la Plata and bombarded Buenos Aires to little retaliation, the Chileans realized their mistake. By then it was too late and commitments to the north kept the offensive stalled for the remainder of winter.

    The end of fall shifted the fight to Bolivia, the Allies gunning for another decisive victory while the Warsaw Pact found itself desperate to stop the onrushing horde. Bolivia itself was near the tipping point. They had relocated to the city of Cochabamba, a major industrial and rail hub. Without it their government would cease to exist and the Allies knew it as well. Both Moore and Peruvian President/General Francisco Morales-Bermudez sought to end communist Bolivia then and there. Brazilian commander Leonidas Pires Goncalves was resolved to stop them. The battle began in earnest at the beginning of June, American/Mexican/Nicaraguan forces hammering to the north of the city while the Peruvian/Chilean-led allies attacked straight into Cochabamba. With over a million troops on either side, it overtook Cusco as the largest battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere.

    [​IMG]

    Unlike other multi-million battles that drew out for weeks and weeks, the battle of Cochabamba was quick as it was brutal. A mere week found mass capitulations and mutinies among the Bolivians, the government becoming a nonentity. Goncalves exercised caution and withdrew – a move that would have him thrown in a cell by his government – but this ignited a firestorm. Bolivia collapsed, a junior minister seizing control and surrendering to the Allies. Paraguay erupted into full rebellion, while anti-Communist riots in Brazil and Uruguay overwhelmed police in many instances. This would largely consume winter, Allied forces mopping up everything west of the Paraguayan Border and moving to liberate the occupied nation. Moves were made to push into the Amazon and Mato Grasso regions of Brazil, communist control there collapsing as generals and provincial governors built personal fiefdoms after declaring for the Allies. Moore and Secretary of State Danforth wanted to ensure a stable post-war Brazil but were convinced by the Colombians, Chileans, and Peruvians to support the various warlords to end the war first.

    By the time the advance resumed in spring, a new focus had developed – this time in the South Atlantic. Having fallen on the first day of the war, Argentina exercised complete control of the Falkland Islands ever since. The British were fuming to get them back, but other fronts had always taken priority. Now, with all of Patagonia under Chilean control, Prime Minister Churchill authorized Operation Sea Dragon to commence. It was a test of Britain’s logistical capabilities, but with bases in West Africa and Asuncion Island the risk was deemed worth it.

    On the beginning of September, a large British Task force sailed into the South Atlantic. Centered around the carriers HMS Hood and King George IV, Admiral Stanley Woodward’s goal was the complete naval dominance of the South Atlantic (as opposed to the pinprick Royal Navy raids of before. Opposed was the entirety of the Argentine Navy and the Soviet South Atlantic Squadron – mostly submarines. Most of the fighting would be done by attrition, but a significant naval battle north of the islands would erupt that essentially crippled the Argentinians. Then, in the last week of September, the soldiers defending the fields north of Goose Green were greeted by a massive swarm of planes. Backed up by Avro Vulcan strategic bombers, three Para battalions led by Colonel John Roland of Italian Front fame dropped in an airborne landing. After fierce fighting in which Roland would receive his second Victoria Cross, the town was captured and a beachhead secured on the island.

    [​IMG]

    Further landings by Royal Marines at Goose Green and San Carlos harbor would occur, and a grueling campaign would be waged to drive out the Argentine defenders. Cut off from the mainland by the fall of Patagonia, General Mario Menendez held out for two weeks of heavy fighting. On October 18, surrounded at Stanley, he finally surrendered his entire force to Roland.

    The fall of the Falklands and the resumption of the Chilean offensive out of Cordoba proved too difficult for the Argentine government to handle. General Secretary Mario Santucho had given the order to hold Buenos Aires to the last man. With Uruguay’s socialist government falling from a coup following an intense Chilean air raid on the capitol, images of the mob of people tearing government ministers limb from limb seen worldwide, Santucho had the citizens of his nation digging a maze of trenches, tank traps, and pillboxes all for a spectacular last stand under the supervision of the secret police. The military had enough. Led by Admiral Leopoldo Galtieri (who had secretly returned from exile not unlike Lech Walesa), well-armed naval infantry and MPs stormed the presidential palace on November 1st and captured Santucho to use as a bargaining chip – the Chileans and Peruvians both wanted him for war crimes. Galtieri’s government sought a ceasefire with the Allies, who countered with unconditional surrender. It was accepted and the guns on the Pampas fell silent.

    While Bolivia, Argentina, and Uruguay were “complete kills” so to speak in regards to the military juntas and provisional governments returning to power under Allied supervision, Brazil was a wholly different animal. Carlos Marighella, riots and military plots surrounding him as the Allied forces charged towards Brasilia, fled into the jungles and countryside – as well as the few loyal communist cities – to continue the fight in partisan warfare. The majority of Brazil’s main cities fell to the Allies and the new Brazilian provisional government under former President Ernesto Geisel. The war in South America was declared over on Boxing Day 1990 by international consensus, though fighting continued in the Brazilian jungles and by diehard communist units and Neo Incan guerrillas.

    Massive devastation from scorched earth campaigns, terror bombings on both sides, and numerous war crimes heightened by centuries of ethnic and national hatreds had gripped the South American continent. Food was scarce, and grain shipments from North America and Australia were overburdened by the sheer demand. Thus, the various military authorities and provisional governments made a deal with generous leaders in southern Africa. The war there had ended rather quickly with the fall of Zambia and there was a surplus to be gotten. African troops from the Entebbe Pact were often used to coordinate the shipments and it was seen by many as a godsend.

    But the Africans unknowingly brought over another, rather unwelcome traveler alongside their livestock.

    Buckley News Network

    November 23, 1990


    [​IMG]

    Breaking News. A nuclear fission blast has been recorded on Isla Piazzi, Chile. Estimates range from 10 to 15 kilotons.

    The Chilean government has released a statement stating that the weapon is of indigenous origin and was exploded as part of a scheduled nuclear test.

    -------------------------
    When Turkey entered the war on the Allied side, the USSR wasted no time to try and secure their border in the southern Caucasus. The Baku oil fields were precious to the Soviet war effort, and even if the Turks only got as far as Yerevan that could threaten them greatly – as well as cutting off their detachment in Iran from resupply now that the Central Asian republics were in revolt. Thus, a large Soviet army invaded from the Georgian SSR. It was a scratch force made up of mostly militia, but the hope was that the Turks had left this front undefended and that they could take a large enough amount of territory to provide a decent enough buffer.

    [​IMG]
    Their assumptions were wrong. The Turkish General Staff kept the entire Turkish 3rd Army in reserve in the eastern region. Advance mountain units skirmished with the USSR to lure the Red Army in. Then, they sprang the trap at the Turkish city of Kars. The battle raged for 72 hours before the Soviets withdrew, having lost over half their number on the field. The Turkish Army then proceeded to invade the Caucasus in August, 1990. They captured Tiblisi on September 7, and Yerevan on September 24. Soon, the entire Muslim areas in the Caucasus republics began to revolt in against Soviet domination, joining with their brethren across the Caspian. Soon, the Turks were joined by advance units of Israeli, Algerian, and Egyptian units from the victorious front in Africa, ready to strike at Baku.

    Meanwhile, the Turks had fortified European Turkey to the hilt against potential incursion by the Warsaw Pact. They didn’t expect Bulgaria and Yugoslavia – both tapped out with forces either occupying Greece or fighting in Italy – but a Romanian corps and Moldovan division reinforced the meager defending units and they advanced on Edirne. Soon, Soviet forces from Italy (having been driven out due to Operation Julius Caesar) arrived and the battle of Edirne turned into an all-out conflagration as the Istanbul Offensive began. General Secretary Kryuchkov wanted the Turkish capitol under the Hammer and Sickle, but the arrival of fresh Turkish troops from Syria in October halted the offensive at Silivri.

    After Syria’s surrender, Iran was alone fighting in the Middle East. Such did not go well among the senior leadership of the Tudeh Party. General Secretary Khosro Golsorkhi began to suspect spies and traitors everywhere – he wasn’t far off the mark, a large-scale resistance front led by former counterintelligence officer and nephew of the former Prime Minister, Eraj Shafae, recruiting members far and wide to destabilize the communists. However, the paranoia caused the government to overreact and soon violent purges hit every aspect of Iranian society. Islamic ceremonies were outlawed after a decade of unofficial tolerance, many lead Mullahs thrown in jail or executed. The military was gutted of officers even as mass conscription was used to swell the ranks. This took hold in the late summer as the Allies began massing their forces to retake the occupied lands and knock Iran from the war once and for all.

    The Allied offensive – named Fist of God – coordinated the entire Middle Eastern coalition of nations to attack simultaneously in two areas: the northern Nineveh plains and south into Khuzestan Province, Iran. To do so would liberate all of Iraq, help reclaim the initiative in the stalled offensive against the Baku oilfields, and knock Iran out of the war by taking the fight on its soil. The offensive began with massive firepower and air superiority on September 20th. The Iranians were hit back, forced out of Kuwait five days later and driven back to Mosul rather quickly (all of Syria being liberated).

    [​IMG]
    Most Iranian troops – the remaining generals knowing the futility of holding Iraq and having made the Zagros mountains and the Shat-al Arab as well fortified as possible – had already been evacuated. Mosul, therefore, was undermanned and the Iranian defenders found themselves greatly outnumbered. They nevertheless greatly bloodied the Allied troops before withdrawing. Meanwhile, the stalemate in the Azeri SSR continued to rage as the revolt spread to the Iranian Azeri Tabriz region as well. Furious offensives along the Zagros mountains were faced with Iranian human wave attacks. The waters of the Shat-al Arab grew red with blood as tens of thousands fell to the human meatgrinder before the lines were broken at Khorramshahr and Abadan. Allied armor swept through the floodplains and even the human wave assaults couldn’t stop them.

    Suddenly, further disaster struck Iran when the Kingdom of Afghanistan and Islamic Republic of Pakistan declared war on them. Border defenses were heavy due to Cold War tensions, but they were undermanned as more and more soldiers were sent to the Iraqi meatgrinder. Afghanistan concentrated its army to reinforce the Timurids in Central Asia, but Pakistan had half a million well-trained, fresh troops that crossed into eastern Iran on the wee morning hours of October 31, 1990. Iranshar fell on November 10. Mashad, after a week-long battle, fell on November 14. All of the Timurid border and Iranian Baluchistan fell to Pakistani occupation by the end of the month and the forces under the command of General Jehangir Karamat began the assault on Bandar Abbas itself.

    The breakthroughs in Khuzestan only made Iranian defenses collapse in the southern Zagros. Facing complete annihilation as a nation, Golsorkhi ordered the largest Iranian army in history to make the final stand at Isfahan, while Saddam Hussein gleefully ordered his Iraqi forces to finish them off there – luring the rest of the Allied army into the titanic confrontation as well.

    [​IMG]
    The battle wasn’t a true battle concentrated within one city. Instead, several smaller but no less intense conflicts over the surrounding towns of Shahrekord, Mobarakeh, Najafabad, Dolatabad, and Baharestan raged on while the city itself fell under the blood and iron of modern war midway through December. Over a million Iranians were flung in human wave assaults against the Allied lines, resulting in tens of thousands of dead for only a stalling of the inevitable. In the end, it wasn’t the Iranians but the Soviet contingent that broke. Hearing of the rebellion that gripped the Azeri SSR during late December, the majority Azeri divisions mutinied, allowing Israeli General Ehud Barak to send his Israeli, Saudi, and Egyptian armored forces in a flank attack that trapped nearly thee hundred thousand Iranians in the city itself. Five days of fierce artillery bombardment forced them to surrender.

    Golsorkhi’s control over the Iranian state media had allowed for a distorted picture to be presented to the Iranian people. With the fall of Isfahan this mirage shattered. No amount of mass purges could keep the public from adopting a defeatist tone – such provided just the opportunity for the opposition forces. In a closed session of the Majles in Tehran on December 31, 1990, Golsorkhi took the podium and began ranting to the overwhelmingly Tudeh-controlled parliament (some independents, regional parties, and other left-wing groups had been allowed to seat representatives) at how the revolution would be victorious and the Iraqis and other allies would bow before Iranian might. However, to his shock, he was shouted down by the angry members for bringing their nation to ruin. Then, the doors opened and in strode Eraj Shafae at the head of dozens of armed soldiers – part of the New Years Eve coup that claimed Tehran for the anti-Tudeh opposition.

    Marshalling the support of the nation’s Islamic clerics, Shafae’s government quickly secured the major cities and systematically removed Tudeh control of the armed forces. Securing a ceasefire across all fronts, the Allies flew in Crown Prince Ali Reza Pahlavi from Egypt (the previous Shah’s second son, his elder brother having died in a car accident five years previously) to take firm control of the provisional government. On January 10th, Iran unconditionally surrendered to the Allies.

    And now, the Soviet Union largely stood alone, gearing up to take the coming Allied assault.

    Planned Partition of Iran
    map by @Kaiser Chris

    [​IMG]


    --------------------​

    While the California Republican party had dominated federal politics since the governorship of Ronald Reagan, since 1978 the dominant force in state politics had been the Yorty Democrats (after former governor Sam Yorty). Largely a coalition of rural populists, Central Valley farmers, working class whites/white ethnics, and the sizable Spanish-American population in SoCal (the largest in the United States outside of Texas, though New Mexico was higher than both in proportion), they combined fiscal populism with a generally paternalistic social conservatism to carve out a niche similar to the Wallace Era. Such was the government of Governor Dan White, which earned him a five point margin of victory in 1986. His policies expanded the welfare state – including a landmark paid parental leave plan – but didn’t extend to meaningful social change that resulted in significant discontent among the black and gay communities in California, the latter still furious over the passage of the Briggs Initiative

    White decided not to run in 1990, and primaries were heated. The Democrats nominated moderate San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein (who replaced the controversial Jim Jones) in a contentious four-way primary. The Progressives largely coalesced around state Senator Henry Waxman of Santa Monica, while on the Republican side congressman Leon Panetta defeated the more conservative Attorney General George Deukmejian. The two major party nominees were known as stalwarts of the moderate wings, while Waxman was a strident left-winger in the California legislature known as a prominent opponent of political corruption and Governor White’s paternalistic social conservatism. Feinstein focused on relaxing the Yorty/White policies while Panetta straddled the issue. Decrying big government while pledging to keep “the core of what works while cutting the useless fat off,” he rallied black voters with his strident civil rights record and successful effort in congress to pass Donald Rumsfeld’s agenda to fight world hunger. Conservative Republican Senator Ed Meese campaigned hard for Panetta to keep the GOP right from defecting.

    [​IMG]
    Waxman didn’t ever poll out of third place, but his showing proved left-wing Progressives still had life in them despite the more moderating push by the party leaders due to the war. The real race was always going to be close among the two main parties, and California voters delivered. It was Panetta, not Feinstein, that gave a victory speech on election night largely on landslide turnout among black voters and conservative suburbanites that crossed over for Yorty and White coming back to the party of Reagan. Republican strength came back to the Golden state, though closer to McCloskey than Meese.
    ---------------------------​

    If there wasn’t a more rock-ribbed Democrat state in the nation than Georgia, then most political observers would eat their hats. Democrats – albeit of the conservative/moderate variety – dominated the state since the end of reconstruction. The only Republicans who ever carried it were Ronald Reagan in his 48-state landslide and Donald Rumsfeld in 1984. Statewide, it was all Democrats all the time. One of these successful Democrats was Sam Nunn. Conservative on cultural issues while populist on economics, he had avoided the left/right national divide while also largely crushing attempts for the Progressives to expand past a generally minor presence in the Atlanta metro. His successful tenure as governor over, he sought to pass the mantle on to whomever left the Democrat primary. In a clown car 8-person battle, the winner in both the general and the runoff was Secretary of State Max Cleland. The Republican primary winner was the unopposed former Reagan-administration official Clarence Thomas.

    Republicans smelled blood in the water in Georgia for the first time in over a decade. Cleland was far more liberal than the average voter in the state. His record was a hodgepodge of generally conservative economic measures and nearly radical views on social issues. While he had his strengths as a Vietnam vet and his party affiliation, GOP strategists felt that Thomas could win and sunk considerable money into the race. Thomas touted his conservatism and his campaign set up the election as the “It’s time” moment. Race played a huge factor, many Republican campaign fliers going into black neighborhoods and exhorting them to finally put a black man in the statehouse.

    As October came around the race got nasty. Trying to dampen black turnout for Thomas, Cleland began painting him as “Much too reactionary” for Georgia blacks. Black Democrat congressman Ron Dellums (D-CA) gave a fiery campaign rally for Cleland, calling Thomas a “House Negro” in supporting policies that would “Bring ruin to the African-American race.” Thomas, despite the urging of his advisors to remain above the fray, counterpunched with the same fury. Cleland, he said, was “A vile relic of the past regime using smears to keep his corrupt ideology in power” and attacked the Democrat for his “Cowardice in dropping a grenade on himself to avoid combat action.” The comment referred to Cleland’s war record and was quite controversial in the closing weeks. Many commentators decried the race as being not in the spirit of national unity during the war.

    [​IMG]

    Even though it had taken a beating, the rural white coalition held for Democrats. But the black belt and other heavily minority areas block voted for Thomas. The Atlanta metro saw huge swings, wealthy suburbanites and even many progressives casting their ballot for the Republican’s change agenda. It wasn’t a wide victory – the coalitions mirroring the Reagan/Rumsfeld victory coalition in 1980/1984 – but the solid four-point victory was a sign of life in the Georgia Republican party which had nearly ten years before been one of the most anemic in the nation

    The Thomas surge extended to the other major statewide race that year. Seeking a second term was noted moderate Senator and former congressman James “Jimmy” Carter. A famous opponent of the Dixiecrat establishment of his party back in the 1960s and 1970s, Carter was the overwhelming favorite and considered a far better candidate than Cleland. With his folksy charm and record that attracted populist conservatives without angering liberals, Carter nevertheless found himself against Republican star candidate and civil rights icon John Lewis. Fairly liberal for a Republican, Lewis nevertheless rallied the state’s base and helped Thomas greatly to juice black turnout to levels never seen in the state. Initially posting a 14-point lead, Carter found himself in a real race and ran energetically. Several gaffes by the incumbent narrowed the race further.

    [​IMG]

    Lewis ran weaker than Thomas in the white suburbs and rural areas, but amazingly leveraged his heroic celebrity to win an even larger share of the black vote. Carter, despite the hard-fought race, conceded gracefully to Lewis in contrast to Cleland, who was more acerbic and cold toward Thomas. The over century-long dominance of the Democratic Party in Georgia politics had ended in the shadow of World War III Republicans in the south were jubilant, ready to put their ironroads to the test in 1992.
    ------------------------------------​

    The blunt-talking and pull no punches intellectual Governor John Silber had gone from being considered a lame duck after his narrow win in 1986 to becoming one of the most popular governors in the country. He aggressively fought for the rights of homeowners against efforts to raise taxes to fix the state’s pension crisis, instead taking axes to certain “useless” public services. Silber’s elimination of teacher tenure and 1/3rd attrition of non-teaching education staff drew massive protests but drew the support from non-education unions when the pension problems were paid in full. As such, the once maligned Democrat party in the state was riding high, sending John Kerry to the Senate in 1988. Hopes were high to get State Senate Majority Leader and liberal Democrat Michael Dukakis elected to the seat of retiring Republican Senator Francis Sargent, but the GOP hoped to stop them with the relative outsider selected in their primary.

    Businessman and former official at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Houston Willard Mitt Romney was a name famous in his native Michigan, his father being the popular Governor and Senator George Romney. However, the son had left to stake out his own legacy, and settled in Boston where he used a loan from his father to help found a small office supply company with two business partners in 1982. The company would eventually boom into the Staples office supply empire and made Romney a multi-millionaire by the end of the decade. Growing his fortune by investing in various companies including the Trump Organization and the developing energy behemoth InterNorth, Romney got bit by the political bug and self-funded a campaign for Sargent’s senate seat. Though now fully backed by the party establishment, Romney continued with the campaign that won him the primary: branding himself as an honorable family man that could not be bought. Dukakis started off with a lead, but his affiliation with Silber prevented his liberalism consolidating the liberal vote, which remained splintered between him, the little-funded Progressive candidate, and various left-wing fourth parties.

    [​IMG]

    Even with John Silber’s romping win taking 61% of the vote, the downballot effect did not translate to help the Democrats. They did manage to hold all their house seats, but the GOP held firm and managed to prevent the second coming of John Kerry. Dukakis came close, yet it was Mitt Romney’s strong campaign and Progressive malaise with either candidate that won the day. The Bay State GOP proved it still had its muscle, and a new star was born.

    --------------------------​

    Dick Cheney was never in the best of cardiac health, and in his nearly constant tenure as Reagan's Chief of Staff and Rumsfeld's Secretary of State the strain only got worse and worse. With the stress of managing the various wartime alliances his heart finally gave way in the summer of 1989. He collapsed of a heart attack in the Oval Office, only quick work by the White House physician saving his life. He would make a full recovery, but decided to resign rather than handicap the wartime operations of the State Department. President Rumsfeld chose the well regarded and tripartisanly popular John Danforth as Cheney's replacement, and he was confirmed unanimously. The Senate seat open, Governor Margaret Kelly chose John Ashcroft - who had lost to Mel Carnahan for the other seat in 1986 - as the interim replacement.

    Generally popular and a good fit for the state - having served as Mayor of St. Louis and Governor despite his loss to Carnahan - Ashcroft was given top committee assignments by Minority Leader Quinn. He quickly built up a record by co-sponsoring the Overseas Recovery Act (later known as the Danforth-MacDonald-Ashcroft Plan, the WWIII version of the Marshall Plan). When Justice William Brennan died in January 1990, Ashcroft was instrumental in securing the unanimous vote in favor of former Senator James Thompson of Illinois as the consensus nominee, Rumsfeld deciding it was best not to provoke a partisan fight for the Supreme Court in the middle of a world war. Thus, he was considered a shoo-in for the special election.

    Not many Democrats were willing to make challenges to popular senators, a general malaise affecting incumbent races as people were concentrating on the war. Out of the collection of B-list candidates and rising stars seeking an initial audience with the people, the primary voters selected an odd choice indeed. Formerly the star of the decently successful television show Lou Grant, Ed Asner left the entertainment industry for his native Missouri after the show's cancellation in 1982. Active in local affairs, he would be elected as Mayor of Independence, a suburban town outside of Kansas City in 1986. During his Hollywood days he was quite radical in his beliefs, but a trip to Israel in the late 70s awoke his previously dormant Jewish faith. He was still personally socially liberal but moderate in his public persona, adopting strict on crime and anti-communist positions. Asner saved his liberal views for economic issues, becoming very close with the industrial and teamster unions that dominated the Kansas City Democratic machine. It was they that got him on top in the primary, and set up an intriguing general election.

    With the Progressives concentrating their limited resources in other contests, their underfunded nominee ensured an Ashcroft v. Asner contest. Possessing shrewd political instincts, RNC chairman Lee Atwater realized Asner was more of a threat than the cook most thought him to be. On his advice, Ashcroft swung hard from the get go. Ads would highlight the Democratic nominee's former radical views and Hollywood activism while hitting him on social issues. Asner would shrug these off as "cheap garbage," replying that "If a New Deal-supporting actor could end up being a two term conservative President, then why does career politician Ashcroft think me insincere?" The mayor concentrated his ads as attacking career politicians, while framing the reason for his bid on economic issues. "Who do you want to win the peace?" became the Asner slogan, notes taken by prospective 1992 candidates.
    [​IMG]
    On election night the polarization of Missouri continued, Ashcroft securing massive margins in St. Louis while the Kansas City machine provided similar margins for Asner. It all came down to the rural regions, which were far closer but sided with the incumbent. However, Asner nevertheless delivered a strong campaign overcoming many issues that had worried national Democrats. Attacks on his liberal past and Hollywood background had failed to cripple his candidacy, voters largely finding him sincere - even a sizable chunk of those voting for Ashcroft. Many Democrats blamed the Progressives for splitting the liberal vote, but given the libertarian bent of Missouri progressives, it wasn't a done deal that they would have gone to Asner in the first place. Missouri wouldn't see the last of the actor turned mayor.

    Ashcroft's victory demonstrated that the voters would be kind to Rumsfeld for the outcomes of the war so far, but the Democrats were in striking distance to make a play for the peace.​

    --------------------------------

    What was the nation’s quintessential swing state, Ohio had taken a firm turn to the Democratic party in the 1980s. All statewide offices except one were held by the Democrats, and they held a majority in both houses of the legislature and in the state’s congressional delegation. As such, the governorship had been held since 1974 – John Glenn till 1983 and Dick Celeste afterwards, the former by large margins and the latter elected twice with small margins. Following an unsuccessful run for President in 1988, Celeste was term limited and the primaries to replace him were fierce. The Republicans picked Attorney General Mike DeWine, while the Progressives selected former Democrat Howard Metzenbaum. The Democrats ended up choosing congressman James Traficant.

    Known for his flamboyant and eccentric style, Traficant was a legend in the Youngstown region for his narrow neckties, wide-lapel sport-coats, and denim suits to major votes. After delivering the Democrat response to Rumsfeld’s 1986 state of the union, Saturday Night Live comedian John Lithgow mocked his unkempt pompadour, which Traficant jokingly claimed afterwards that he cut it with a weed whacker. He was beloved in his native area among the working class industrial region, and this propelled him to victory in the primary. Both DeWine and Metzenbaum were known figures in Columbus running conventional campaigns, so Traficant used it to his advantage. He ran a bizarre campaign, cutting famous ads of himself swinging a two by four at a plasterboard model of the statehouse and dressed in a Star Trek uniform. Many laughed, thinking he was flailing away, but voters had a different reaction.​

    [​IMG]

    The Democrats’ winning streak continued. Strong among the working class and cutting into the GOP margins among the rural western part of the state, Traficant scored a margin double that of Dick Celeste’s two campaigns. Comparisons were made to George Wallace and the Governor-elect was already being banded about as a leading Presidential contender in 1992, but such talk may have been made too soon.
    -----------------------------------​

    Across the nation there was an unofficial gentleman’s agreement between the three political parties not to run hard against major incumbents (except in open seats and against certain incumbents suffering from scandal, though John Lewis made waves by running hard against the popular Jimmy Carter). Due to the actions of Governor John Silber and former President Ronald Reagan there was no official unity coalition as was seen in most parliamentary democracies within the Anti-Warsaw Pact Alliance, but the parties largely eschewed partisan politics while the fighting still raged.

    [​IMG]
    Nevertheless, the closing of the South American and African Fronts (along with the sense the Middle East would be liberated soon) caused President Rumsfeld’s approval ratings to skyrocket, rising higher than the record high last set by President Reagan. This was correlated to the GOP in some extent, and such was enough to cause Roy Cohn to reclaim the speakership and end his career on a high note by a narrow margin – Speaker ballots having been elected on a first past the post system since 1983. The Progressives bounced back from their 1988 nadir by gaining in the West due to leader Jim Oberstar’s effort to select moderate, pro-war candidates and in NJ where the popular Prog Senator Ruth Bader Ginsberg campaigned hard for her party.

    [​IMG]
    The senate saw a similar swing as the House, but the Democrat majority was built in enough to prevent them losing the chamber. They managed to gain New Mexico and Michigan (Democrat Dave Bonior defeated Progressive James Blanchard when Republican incumbent Don Riegle imploded in a bribery scandal, the first Dem win in a MI senate race since 1964), while losing the Class II Louisiana to Republican David Treen for the first time since Reconstruction. The GOP did very well in the west and plains states to the expense of the Progressives, who lost the open seat of party founding father George McGovern. Essentially, the cooperation and unity that the war had brought out among the three parties remained following the midterms – but it set the stage for considerable gridlock and partisan maneuvering for when peace was obtained.

    ----------------------------
    To say that the leaders of the Soviet Union in the winter of 1990-1991 were living in deluded fantasies was the understatement of the decade. Despite the official control lying with the Politburo and the various departments, wartime expediency and the incompetent nature of many officials led to the control of the nation being effectively in the hands of four men: General Secretary Vladimir Kryuchkov, Defense Minister Pytor Demichev, Interior Minister Boris Pugo, and KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov. Each had grown more isolated, more confident of victory as the months went by despite setback after setback. One by one their allies fell yet they still were planning their parades in Paris and London - even Washington. Most moderates had been sent away to forced retirement, while their staffs and positions of power were held by fellow hardliners or conniving yes men. The Red Army leadership, at least the ones that briefed them, stated that more men concentrated on the various fronts would lead to the final defeat of the west and they believed them.

    What really scared and angered the four men wasn't the West, but the rumblings of dissent within the remnants of the Warsaw Pact. Watching coups and popular uprisings rock their allies and the formation of new nationalist or rival movements such as Kopekov's Timurid Empire or Zhirinovsky's State of Russia only made them increasingly paranoid and internally focused. Chebrikov especially, given his position (Demichev would have, but his position in Defense brought him more towards how he would crush the Allies once and for all). Distrusting and suspicious of everyone around him, it was the appearance of the nearly unstoppable stealth Moscow Bomber that would push him to the breaking point. On January 5, 1991 he would infamously meet with the General Secretary in what Vladimir Putin - who had risen to be one of Chebrikov's aides - would call the "Reaper's Briefing" in his memoirs. Demichev and Red Army commander Sergey Solokov were consulted halfway through, and a rapid plan of action was made that would rock the foundation of the USSR.

    [​IMG]
    Last known photo of Kryuchkov with either Dimitry Yazov (center) or Boris Pugo (lower right).
    On January 6, 1991 the blood ran red in the streets of the USSR. Channeling the ghost of Stalin, Chebrikov moved to eliminate whatever threats he could think of with extreme prejudice. Dimitry Yazov, Yuri Maslyukov, Sergey Akhromeyev, Nikolai Ryzhkov, Mikhail Solomentsev, Nikolai Tikhonov, and even Pugo himself (common assumption has it that Chebrikov placed him on the list to eliminate a potential rival) were among many that were dragged to the basements of Dzerzhinsky Square and executed by bullet to the back of the head. Remaining moderates such as Michail Gorbechev, Vladimir Dolgikh, and Nikolai Talyzin joined them in death while the retired Yegor Ligachyov, Eduard Shevardnadze, Boris Yeltsin, and former General Secretary Yakovlev were gunned down in their dachas in their sleep. And these were just the top officials. Hundreds of others were arrested and shot for "Alliance with Zhirinovsky," the fascist rebel essentially becoming the Emmanuel Goldstien of the USSR. Whole departments of party officials in the non-Russian republics were massacred by KGB and Interior Department troops - basically thugs at this point. After two days, the sole remaining officials not in hiding and not zealots for the hardliner leadership were former General Secretary Semichastny (who was Chebrikov's mentor and someone he had a fondness for) and Cultural Affairs Minister Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (who was considered too much of a nonentity to matter). The rest were dead.

    Abroad in the remaining Warsaw Pact nations, the murders and purges continued. Romanian President Nicolae Ceaușescu was killed by his own wife Elena and rogue officers among the Securitate, who subsequently rooted out every possible moderate within the government (Romania was one of the few nations that still had them). Bulgaria, Slovakia, Occupied Poland, Albania, the Greek puppet state, all were purged by combinations of the KGB and zealous opportunists. In Yugoslavia, General and former Serbian party official Slobodan Milosevic was entrusted with it in a move that would soon backfire completely.

    The Red Army was also targeted, officers that were considered "defeatists" and "non-victorious" - which was essentially all the field commanders - were shot for their failures. Many Zampolit were promoted to lead the divisions and armies, while young officers were thrust to command. Ethnic minorities defected in many cases rather than be purged, igniting far worse revolts in the Caucasus and the Ukraine. The only officer left alone was Marshal Boris Gromov, Commander of the Western Front and the "New Zhukov" as he was called. Demichev wanted him dead as he was a ruthless pragmatist and never sugar coated anything, but he was too beloved by the common soldiers to eliminate without risking mass mutiny. As a compromise, KGB general Viktor Karpukhin was assigned as Gromov's Zampolitwith the authority to override any of Gromov's orders. Gromov acceded to this because Karpukhin was a competent officer in his own right and the two ended up having a guarded yet cordial relationship.

    [​IMG]
    Known as a commander that cared about his men, Boris Gromov was beloved by the common soldiers of the Red Army and made him both despised and feared by the Soviet leadership.
    The new government was centered around the remaining members of the gang that launched the December Coup nearly five years before, joined by new Interior Minister Volodymyr Shcherbytsky. Together, they authorized "Full reactive measures" in dealing with suppressing civil unrest and nationalist sentiment. The gloves were off, all restrictions on the use of weaponry (including gas) on civilians was eliminated as entire towns that were suspected of sedition were flattened and poisoned into death. Bombers and Scud ballistic missiles continued their bombardment of whatever Allied civilian areas could still be reached, and Demichev ordered the Soviet Navy to initiate actions to bring the war back to the American mainland.

    If the Allies were to continue fighting, they would be met with an orgy of death.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
    B3L, Lisowczycy, CountofDooku and 2 others like this.
  9. The Congressman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Good ol' USA
    "My fellow Americans, our land, air, and sea forces and those of our allies have driven forth the communist empires in South America, Africa, and the Middle East to hell where they belong... We stand poised astride Eastern Europe and the Caucasus to do the same to its dark, evil heart. To our brave soldiers, we send our love and prayers. To the people of the Soviet Union, oppressed by their government, we make clear that our struggle is not with you. Our struggle is not to continue the oppression of souls yearning to be free.

    [​IMG]
    "To General Secretary Kryuchkov and the other wannabe Stalins within the Kremlin, the United States of America has this to say. Despite your deluded fantasies of final victory that remind all of us of another evil regime forty-six years ago, you will not win. The forces of liberty and justice wait to drive your black regime to the eternal fires where it belongs. I beseech you on behalf of the entire alliance, surrender. Take this lifeline and we will spare your lives. Take it and you will spare the lives of millions of your people. Put your souls on the path of redemption and righteousness in the eyes of our Creator. You know what you face, what will happen. You have 48 hours to respond. Choose wisely."

    -President Donald Rumsfeld, State of the Union Address January 29, 1991-

    "The imperialists and capitalists think they can intimidate the workers and peasants of the Soviet Union. They think that their words and brutality can allow them to continue to oppress the proletarian spirit and stop the revolution. They can think again. The Revolution will be victorious. The Revolution will secure ultimate triumph. Hitler couldn't exterminate us, and neither will the Americans.

    [​IMG]
    "Soon, the American mainland will receive our response. They will know that no matter where they stand, where they choose to hide, the Revolution will find them!"

    -General Secretary Vladimir Kryuchkov, January 30, 1991-
    The massive victories of late 1990 had lulled the United States into a complacency. An ever present worry about nuclear weapons remained, but otherwise everyone was confident of victory. Then on January 30th that complacency was shattered. Ten specialized Soviet submarines had been produced from refits of the old Delta-class ballistic missile subs. Removing the SLBM tubes, instead was a larger compliment of cruise missiles produced similar to the American Tomahawk missile that had been deployed in early 1990. Carrying VX gas and cluster munitions, they swarmed the cities of Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Richmond, Charleston, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, and New Orleans. Anti-missile batteries and SAMs managed to shoot down about two fifths of them but the rest hit highly populated areas causing 71,000 dead and double that injured (largely from the gas and the largest single number killed being VX targets within the NYC subways, the attack hitting them during the evening commute). Six of the ten subs were sunk by the US Navy but the damage was done.

    As such, any sympathy to the USSR vanished. One week later the largest single air attack of the entire war commenced. The entire Allied bomber force swarmed Soviet airspace backed up by land-based and carrier air cover. In the van were the stealth Moscow Bombers which targeted as much of the SAM network as possible while the rest proceeded to hit population and military centers. Over a quarter of the entire force fell victim to casualties but damage to the Soviet industry and psyche was catastrophic. The Allies all were in agreement. The Soviet Union would have to be crushed completely, and the next target would be Moscow itself.

    ------------------------------

    “They will have no choice but to accept it.”

    -Slobodan Milosevic-​


    One of the KGB-backed coups against insufficiently loyal governments in early 1991 was that of Slobodan Milosevic in Yugoslavia. A general and former official within the Serbian republic, he was a committed communist but fundamentally an opportunist. He and his allies knew – unlike those like Kryuchkov or Elena Ceausescu who were largely delusional – that the Warsaw Pact was on its last legs. He wanted absolute power in Yugoslavia but not control that would be destroyed in mere months when the Allies resumed their attack. Therefore, he decided to abandon communism in favor of something he could rally his native Serbians once the war ended – Serbian nationalism. Namely, the concept of a Greater Serbian state that dominated the Balkans.

    [​IMG]
    Milosevic's concept of a Greater Serbia within a post-war Balkans.

    Yugoslavia under Tito has been kept together despite the various ethnicities by a balancing act of federalism between the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians, Montenegrins, Kosovars, and Macedonians. Following the assassination of Tito it mattered not because the Yugoslav government was essentially a puppet of the USSR, the officials a coalition between the Serbs and Croats. After his coup, all of those were killed and it was just the Serb officials that Milosevic personally trusted. While it rankled the Serbian nationalists that he had largely associated himself with, there really was no realistic measure to prevent a Slovenian and Croatian state from forming. Such actions were already being put in place by the Allies – after Italy expanding to its pre-WWII borders minus the port of Fiume, anti-communists within Slovenia and Croatia were already setting up new governments to join the pantheon of nations. Rather than fight over them, Milosevic reasoned it was best to cut them off and save the hassle for holding the rest. Sending secret feelers to the Allies through the lines at Zagreb, Serbian negotiators gave the demands of the soon to be nation of Greater Serbia in order to throw off the Soviet yoke and join the Anti-Warsaw Pact Alliance in full.

    Such caused a large stir among the Allies, for the offer was officially received the day before the leaders of the main nations within the alliance – along with representatives from the others – landed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Essentially the WWIII version of the Yalta Conference, the leaders’ main goal was to discuss the general strategy for dealing with the USSR upon its defeat as well as preliminary territorial concerns. The Serbian offer was the focal point of the first day’s talks. Largely a concern of President Rumsfeld, Chancellor Frey, and Prime Ministers Churchill, Mitterrand, and Occhetto, the prospect of a Greater Serbia upset plans to deal with the Yugoslav state by splitting it up largely on ethnic lines. None of the five leaders felt that Greater Serbia would have a future not fraught with violence, but the prospect of crippling the Soviet position within the Balkans was too juicy to pass up. Determining that winning the war quickly came first, Milosevic’s offer was accepted and the Serbian leader prepared to execute it in coordination with the planned Allied spring offensive.

    [​IMG]

    No firm plans for territorial changes were to be discussed at Riyadh. On the agenda was merely general commitments and strategies, the final borders and new nations to be finalized at the final negotiations once the Warsaw Pact was no more. However, following the Serbian offer many disputes began to erupt even over generalized claims. There were over a dozen, but the main ones stood out: the division of Iran, Chilean claims over Argentina, Japanese expansion into Manchuria, Entebbe Pact ambitions in Africa, and the Oder-Niesse line dispute between Poland and Germany.

    The Americans and British wished for their old ally back, and in the government of Ali Reza Pahlavi and Prime Minister Eraj Shafae they had it. However, the Iraq, Afghan, Pakistani, and Timurid claims had to be addressed along with the various minority groups that willed independence. Large expansions efforts such as the entire gulf coast by Iraq and Mashhad by Afghanistan were knocked back, but a general agreement on greatly limiting Iranian territory while granting Iranian Kurdistan and Iranian Azerbaijan independence (the latter to be expanded into the Azeri SSR as a move supported by Turkey) led to wide agreement among the various nations.

    For South America, the hope to prevent major territorial changes due to the sheer exhaustion of the parties and massive damage to national infrastructure was palpable. The only concern involved Chile, the new nuclear-armed power and strongman of the region. They were demanding swaths of territory in Argentina all the way up to Cordoba – territorial changes that would essentially cripple the former state. Desperate to keep stability in the post-war region, especially given the pro-Western Galtieri government, the UK and US opposed such efforts by Chile while they found a benefactor in France (which would effect diplomatic relations post-war in great ways). Chile objected to British plans to take Argentine Tierra del Fuego to help protect the Falklands, and the discussions in Riyadh almost ended in a state of war between Santiago and London. Mexican President Manuel Clouthier managed to negotiate a compromise, in which Chile could annex both Patagonian provinces while Britain would pay for Argentine Tierra del Fuego.

    Yukio Mishima was riding high, his efforts bringing Japan back from the brink and restoring it to greatness. His hopes of expansion deep into outer Manchuria – some lofty Japanese goals thinking of the annexation of all the Russian Far East from Vladivostok to Anadyr to Irkutsk discussed in Tokyo – seemed close to fruition. Rumsfeld however, remembered what Reagan and the Chinese had agreed to in Phnom Penh and tried to restrain the Japanese. Nationalists and the occasional Bushidoist (a minority faction within the Minseito party, which advocated for a restrained return to pre-WWII militarism) were angry at this, but Mishima quickly understood and the dispute came to an early resolution to the relief of all parties.

    [​IMG]
    Idii Amin sitting next to the delegates from Jordan due to his friendship with King Hussein.
    The crisis in Africa didn’t seem as explosive as the Chile/UK dispute, but Foreign Secretary Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain felt that “This is the crisis that gives me the most worry for the future.” Represented by Idi Amin and Mobutu Seke Seso, the Entebbe Pact had taken the initiative in replacing many communist governments with ones aligned with them, while unilaterally ending Zambia as a country and blocking independence for South Sudan. The former was opposed by South Africa and Rhodesia, both wishing for Zambia to have become a British Commonwealth nation to protect its northern borders. The UK on the other hand wished for South Sudanese independence, and it was a simmering impasse as Amin wished to stop it to reward Omar Bashir’s government for its support. Mobutu and Gerhard Frey came to a resolution of South Sudan – transfer of the territory to the more ethnically palatable Kingdom of Ubangi-Shari under King Bokassa I. This was agreed to albeit to the satisfaction of none. Thatcher would recount that nothing regarding Africa satisfied anyone, which “Likely predicted what would happen next.”

    What was the most serious dispute between the nations was that of the Oder-Niesse Line. East Germany was already in the process of being reintegrated with the west, and claims by Berlin over Soviet East Prussia were not controversial, but the Kaiser and Chancellor were unbending in their demands that the issue that helped start the war. Weimar borders or bust. The interim Solidarity government under Lech Walesa normally had shockingly good relations with their fellow Freyists, but this was a bridge too far. Both condemned the intransigence of the other, Poland referring WWII war crimes while Germany mentioned the nearly 7 million dead German civilians in WWIII and decried the current borders as a “Stalinist abomination.” Foreign Minister Kurt Waldheim famously brought out charts of the numbers killed by Stalin, while Poland accused the Germans of trying to “redwash” the crimes of Hitler. Worse, the Allies were divided on who to support. France sided with Poland against their Freyist rivals, while the British were with the German Empire – largely over concerns regarding rising French power on the world stage and because of the soon to be approved engagement between Kaiser Georg and King Charles’ only daughter Catharine. America was neutral and sought a compromise to get beyond the hatreds of the past. In the words of Ronald Reagan: “If we sought revenge for every slight committed between other nations on those nations themselves, we should have just let the missiles fly.” Promises of return to pre-1939 borders for Poland in the east mollified Polish concerns – and they were a defeated nation after all and were lucky to have a seat at the table. East Prussia and Stettin would be restored to their full pre-1939 borders immediately following the war while the rest of the Oder-Niesse territories would be discussed between the two nations themselves.

    Despite the various disputes and arguments, all participants agreed to prevent the main successor state to the USSR (whatever that would be) to become a world power ever again. The various incidents of ethnic and religious strife within the Soviet Union worried the main Allied leaders about future instability. Hopes to divide them like the Ottoman Empire after WWI or African decolonization into geographic states was rejected in favor of a plan to keep a large Russian state – denuclearized – while chopping off large parts to create several minor states for ethnic minorities. Many factions salivated at the hope of carving out allies among these future states (Turkey with a proposed Circassian Republic or the Germans with a Byelorussian one for example). But one thing stood in the way of the move. The Allies needed to defeat the Soviets first.

    On the dark night of February 11, 1991, the person likely to claim the title of the most influential Frenchman in the 20th Century made his ascent to Valhalla. General Jacques Massu, two time President of the Council, decorated war hero of WWII and the Algerian War, founder of the National Front, and the Commander of French forces in WWIII passed away in his sleep. Putting finishing touches on war plans for Sledgehammer that would see the French Army advance into the Ukraine, the octogenarian Massu simply never woke up. Colonel John Roland would famously remark "He did his duty and saved his land. Now he joins the gods of old in eternal reward of Asgard's halls." Flags across the Allied world would be flown at half mast while the French assembly would declare a week's mourning, voting that his body be interred in Les Invalides, an honor only granted to Napoleon Bonaparte and a few other French military heroes. The Soviet state media organization TASS released a statement that the "Imperialist crusader now rots below the ground where he belongs, and soon the remaining capitalist invaders will meet a similar fate." French bombers subsequently assaulted Sevastopol in a furious terror bombing. French Mediterranean Army commander Lt. General Michel Roquejeoffre replaced Massu as French Supreme Commander.

    [​IMG]
    Nobody, not even the teachers and especially not the students, paid the slightest semblance of attention to the school bells as they rung out to signal the end of the school day. Some of the teachers were busy thinking about how their family members and acquaintances were doing, especially those in combat overseas, while others merely wished to drag themselves home for some rest after a long day of dealing with rowdy children and grading homework. The children, far more energetic than the adults even after going through school—or perhaps especially after going through school—eagerly chatted with their classmates about various topics.

    Paige stooped down to pick up her backpack before stepping outside the classroom and threading through the crowd of students and teachers to Henry’s classroom, where he was organizing a bookshelf, with a rather stern-looking Ms. Willards behind him. Evidently, Henry had done something to aggravate his teacher, most likely knocking over the bookshelf if the copy of White Fang sitting in a surprisingly undisturbed flower pot is anything to judge.

    Henry finished putting back the last book into its proper place on the shelf and began putting his notebooks and pencil case into his backpack, while Ms. Willards went into the back room to put away some wayward glue sticks and scissors.

    Paige was just about to ask Henry how he’d managed to knock down the bookshelf when Henry spoke first “have you heard the rumors?”

    Paige raised an eyebrow “about what?”

    Henry continued, “there’s a rebellion going on inside the Soviet Union. Multiple ones, in fact.”

    Paige tilted her head, “I can guess not everybody’s on board with the war, but where did you hear this from? That gossip fountain Sally?”

    “Nope, the newspapers.” Henry retorted as he placed his pencil sharpener carefully besides his eraser, “they featured some interview with a refugee who fled from one of the eastern Soviet countries, said that some of the Red brigades are fighting each other over poor treatment.”

    “Huh”, Paige mused, “I guess that brick wall of socialist solidarity has some really big cracks in it, then. Can’t say I’m surprised though, the Soviets never seemed to care particularly about the welfare of their allies too much.”

    “You know, I never realized how many different kinds of people were actually in the Soviet Union until I read that article. Estonians, Ukrainians, Chechens, Tatars,” Henry paused to flip through his English folder, “really makes you think though, why did they rebel? Why not all the different groups that got discriminated against here? Like the Japanese during World War II, or the Blacks during Jim Crow and Segregation?”

    Paige raised a finger to her lips, head tilted upwards in thought, before replying, “Well, the Blacks DID rise up, in a way, back in Birmingham in ’66, and again in ’70 after Martin Luther King Jr. nearly got killed. But if I had to guess why the majority of them didn’t start shooting and burning, I’d say it’s because we let them express themselves.”

    Henry scoffed, “You think they were contented just because we let them walk around with a bunch of signs and make speeches? That doesn’t sound like much to me. I know I wouldn’t be satisfied if I were them.”

    Paige placed her hands on her hips. “The government did end up listening to them, didn’t they? They passed the Civil Rights Act in 1963, didn’t they?”

    Now it was Henry who tilted his head, “From what I heard, it only passed by one vote, and before that a lot of them got beaten or even killed by the police.”

    “True,” conceded Paige, “but I do believe that we’ve progressed beyond that, just as we’ve progressed from back when we had all the Japanese rounded up and sent away when World War II started.” She paused, “Perhaps it was because we listened and changed that kept all of us together, and it’s because the Soviets didn’t that now their people have finally had enough.”

    Henry finished packing and left the classroom with Paige, walking towards the school gate. “So how much homework do you have today?”

    Paige threw a quick glance at her backpack, “Hmm, well, I have a worksheet about fractions and decimals, but that shouldn’t take too long. And I also have a social studies essay from Ms. Jeffries. She wants us to write our opinion on the topic,” Paige cleared her throat before imitating Ms. Jeffries’s voice, “‘Are potentially extremist speakers like John Schmitz and Fred Phelps good for the country, even if they only state beliefs that a lot of people agree with?’”

    Henry turned to her, “well, what do you think?”

    Paige was silent for a moment before responding, “To be honest, I really don’t know. I’m going to have to think about—” She was interrupted by Henry.

    “Ah-ha! So, you’re a communist! HEY EVERY—” The rest of his words were cut short by a swift pinch to his ear.

    “Stop that. I’m not a communist and you know it,” Paige replied, having been rather offended by Henry’s teasing.

    “Are too,” Henry cheekily replied.

    “If I’m a communist, then you’re a Nazi. After all, you listen to that loudmouth Schmitz on the radio every time he pops up,” retaliated.

    Now it was Henry’s turn to be offended. “He published a book refuting Nazism and testified against a lot of other Nazis!”

    Paige leaned down to slightly tower over Henry, “Haven’t you heard the saying, once a wolf, always a wolf?”

    It seemed that they were about to have either a verbal or physical struggle, until Paige noticed that Henry’s face was bright red and suddenly felt her own cheeks clenched up. “Henry?”

    “What?”

    “Can we just stop talking about this?”

    Henry quite visibly deflated, “…yeah, ok.”

    “Thanks.”

    An uncomfortable silence descended on the two children, both turning their heads slightly away from one another, until Henry perked up at something he just remembered, “Remember the Beeman’s?”

    Paige turned back towards Henry, “What about them? I know their son died in Europe. We both saw that military officer come and give them the news, not to mention the screams.”

    Henry slightly turned away from Paige, “I think the grandparents got arrested.”

    Paige’s eyebrows furrowed, “What? What for? Didn’t their son die in the army? And how do you know this, anyways?”

    Henry didn’t turn to meet Paige’s stare, “I overheard mom and dad talking. The FBI thinks the grandparents used their age to hide their spying from the younger folks, playing it off as them getting senile.”

    Paige’s tone turned incredulous, “Spies? But, but,” stammered Paige, before calming down “Their grandson died for them, for the country. And they did all that behind his back, against everything he believed in?”

    Henry shrugged, “Who knows? They’re all traitors, for all I know. And that’s good enough of a reason to arrest them for me.”

    Paige spoke, more to herself than to Henry, “Still, it’s hard to believe that people from the same family can be so different.”

    “Remember what Schmitz said,” Henry answered in a sagely voice, before imitating Schmitz, “’The wolves dressed up as sheep clothing even fooled me. That is why we must look out for more of these traitors…’”

    “I think they’re innocent,” Paige abruptly declared.

    Henry stopped his imitation of Schmitzl, “You do? Innocent?”

    “Yeah,” Paige replied, “I’m been to their house before, and I’ve met the grandparents. They both were in the military during the Second World War. The grandmother was a WAAC and the grandfather got a purple heart in France. I don’t think they’d do such things if they were spies. Besides, I passed by them walking home from school a few days after that military officer came to their house. The grandmother quite literally fainted when she heard someone mention their grandson’s name, and the grandfather had to carry her into their house.”

    “It could’ve been an act,” Henry suggested.

    Paige shook her head, “I don’t think so. I think they’re victims of all the paranoia about spies and such due to this war. Maybe one of their neighbors reported them—I’d guess the Halley’s. You know they’re still furious about that time when the Beeman’s called the police on them for partying late at night and got their daughter arrested for dealing drugs.”

    “You sure are trusting of possible Soviet spies,” replied Henry.

    “Or maybe I just don’t buy into all the scare-talk about every neighbor potentially being a spy,” Paige retorted.

    “Oh?”

    Paige didn’t respond, still dismayed about the arrest of the Beeman’s grandparents, before turning her thoughts to her parents, “Hey, Henry. Do you think our parents have been acting…weird?”

    Now Henry turned to look at Paige, “I don’t know, what is weird?”

    Paige recalled how her parents seemed to speak in sharper tones and possess shorter tempers recently, “Didn’t mom yell at you for not doing your homework when she got home last Tuesday?”

    Henry didn’t think much of it, “Yeah, so? She always does that when I don’t.”

    Paige pressed him, “Usually she doesn’t start yelling until after a few times. Not to mention she even started slamming the doors a lot, and she wasn’t even mad then. The last time I saw her that mad was when you got into a fight with Roy, and she only slammed the door that day, never for a week like now.”

    Henry stopped, “Maybe dad’s been having a bad time at work and some of that rubbed off onto mom?” It was more of a suggestion than an answer, as Henry was still confused about the whole thing. “I mean, he is part of the Red Hunting Committee now, so I guess he has to be more uptight about things now.”

    Any further conversation they had was stopped when a dark green car entered the roundabout and slowed to a crawl next to Paige and Henry.

    “Isn’t that Mrs. Jenson?” Henry asked.

    “Yeah, what she’s doing here? It’s not like she lives in our neighborhood, after all.” Paige wondered.

    The tinted window rolled down, revealing the red-headed Mrs. Jenson, wearing a thick but loose-fitting jacket. “Paige, Henry?” She called out to the two children, “Your parents called me this morning: they’re running late and you both have a doctor’s appointment after school. I’m supposed to take you both to the clinic.”

    Henry groaned, even as he opened the car’s door and tossed his backpack in “Aw, come on! Not another one!”

    Paige agreed, “But we just had one last month! And I don’t want to get my throat poked again!”

    Despite her protests, Mrs. Jenson maintained a calming smile. “I know, I know, I honestly don’t know why your parents keep doing that. But it won’t take too long.” She stopped to check all the car’s locks, “But it won’t take long, and I promise to take you both out for ice cream if you both behave.” Even for Paige, the promise of ice cream, a luxury in wartime, was enough to keep her quiet.

    Just before Mrs. Jenson got back into her car, however, a shrill whistle broke through the noise of the cars and other people. “You there in the green car!” The teacher supervising the roundabout waved as she walked briskly over, casually noting the description of the car and woman before peering inside. “I haven’t seen you here before. Who are you and where are you taking Paige and Henry?”

    “It’s alright, Mrs. Edwards,” Paige interjected as she rolled down the window, “it’s just Mrs. Jenson. She’s a friend of our parents and taking us to a doctor’s appointment. Mom and dad were never really good at planning these types of things, and they’re running late today.” Seeing Mrs. Edwards still skeptical, she added, “we’ll be fine. I promise.”

    “Hmm, alright, if you say so, Paige,” concluded Mrs. Edwards as she waved the green car along. Soon it mingled in along with all the other cars of various parents both coming to pick up their children and those heading home or for wherever they go after school, completely indistinguishable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    “Gaad seems to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning,” Philip remarked as he and Elizabeth drove to Paige and Henry’s school.

    “No doubt about that,” snorted Elizabeth, “He stopped the briefing just to yell at some guy in the background. That man has a terrifying temper, I’ll give him that, even if I’ll never enjoy working for the FBI”

    The earpiece cracked, “I advise you two not to try me, especially not today.”

    “Still, he’s not half as irritating as Mr. Douglas,” mused Philip (who was deliberately ignoring the earpiece), as he thought of the head of the local Red Hunting Committee, “At least Gaad gets to the point on everything. Douglas likes to write a novel where he could’ve just used a sentence!”

    “Do keep your mouths shut” cracked the earpiece again.

    Elizabeth turned to Philip, slightly amused, “Surely he isn’t that bad, at least not as bad as some of our more…determined comrades?” Even though her tone betrayed nothing, a slight smirk crept up her lips.

    “His speeches are twice as bad as Schmitz!” Philip scowled, getting a bit too fired up about his experience inside the committee, “And the whole committee is like a bunch of teenagers! Heck, two weeks ago they had to cancel a meeting because Douglas popped a tire while going to donate to a church! At one in the morning!” The earpiece remained silent this time, although Philip thought he heard a sigh on the other end.

    A sharp jolt of the car snapped them out of their conversation as they ran over one of the speed bumps that laid hardly a quarter of a mile away from the school.

    “Do you think Henry got in trouble again, Philip?” Elizabeth asked as she closed the door behind her and stepped onto the curb.

    “If it were just Henry, I certainly wouldn’t be too worried. What I want to know is why Paige hasn’t come home either. She hasn’t gotten into trouble for over a year,” Philip replied.

    “Well, where are we supposed to look?” Elizabeth scanned the school, “not many people are here at 5 pm, and I don’t know if they’ve even seen Paige or Henry.”

    Her eye fell on Mrs. Edwards, who was leaning back on a bench casually glancing left and right of the roundabout. Mrs. Edwards had often been the one to catch Henry misbehaving on the playground; if anyone on campus had seen Henry or Paige, she’d be the one.

    “Mrs. Edwards!” Elizabeth called as she somewhat jogged over to the bench, Philip following behind her. Mrs. Edwards stood up straight upon seeing the Jennings.

    “Ah, good evening Mrs. Jennings. How can I help y—?” She was cut short by Elizabeth.

    “Have you seen Henry or Paige this afternoon?” asked Elizabeth, “They haven’t returned home yet.”

    “Oh yes, some red-head by the name of Mrs. Jenson took them to a doctor’s appointment, since you were both running late today,” casually replied Mrs. Edwards.

    Elizabeth and Philip exchanged glances before responding, “But we never scheduled a doctor’s appointment this morning, nor did we tell Mrs. Jenson to pick them up!”

    Mrs. Edward’s eyes briefly widened before narrowing, “Your kids told me that everything was fine. If it’s a kidnapping, I advise you to take this to the police. At this point, the school can do nothing.”

    Silence ensued before a digital version of Eye of the Tiger emanating from Philip’s cell phone broke the stalemate. Philip and Elizabeth excused themselves before returning to their car to answer the call.

    “Hello?”

    “Elizabeth and Philip Jennings,” a stern feminine voice replied. Both the Jennings knew that voice, “Misha?”

    “Indeed.” The voice gave no indication of any sort of personal recognition.

    “Might I point out that we were commanded not to contact any of our comrades unless otherwise ordered?” spoke Elizabeth into the phone.

    “I believe you will find the reason for this call to be more than adequate,” Misha replied, and the Jennings heard what sounded like muffled shouting before—

    “Mom! Dad! Hel—” The distinctive sound of struggling to speak through a gag was only less shocking than the voice.

    “Paige?!” Elizabeth may be a highly intelligent Soviet spy, but even she couldn’t prevent the shock from seeping into her words.

    “We also have Henry as well, both of whom I snatched from their school earlier today.”

    Philip reached to start the ignition. “Don’t bother looking at my house. I assure you that they have been taken somewhere where you will never find them.”

    “But why, Misha?” gritted Philip through his teeth, “Have we not been forever loyal to the cause of the worker’s revolution? Have we not done all we’ve could, unwavering in our devotion to the socialist cause?”

    Elizabeth grabbed the phone from Philip, “Why not ask Granny or Zhukov? They can attest to our—"

    “Granny and Zhukov are dead,” replied Misha, the chill in her voice audible even through the static of the phone, “they were deemed as insufficiently devoted to the success of the revolution, and thus eliminated.” Philip and Elizabeth could only sit silently.

    Misha continued, apathetic to their shock, “Consider this a precaution to ensure your loyalty to the socialist revolution. Maintain your diligence as you have before and they will not be harmed…” The voice on the phone paused, “…much. In addition, should we suspect that you are even attempting to find them, either yourselves or through the police, they will die.”

    Before Philip or Elizabeth could respond, an incessant buzzing replaced Misha’s voice.

    Elizabeth only sat there stunned, but Philip was more energetic in his response.

    “Please, Gaad! You heard what she said, I know you did! You have to save them!”

    “I beg your pardon, but exactly why should the FBI devote resources to finding your two children?”

    Anger replaced panic in Philip’s mind, “What?”

    The earpiece cracked, “As you are aware, the FBI is currently involved in tracking down any spies that compromise the national security of this nation. Spies like Duluth and you two.” Before Philip could retort, Gaad continued, “To put it simply, we have better things to do than to investigate comparatively minor crimes like kidnapping. That is something for the local police, and I advise that you treat it as such, especially since we’re not in the business of helping Soviet spies.”

    “Then we will immediately end this deal,” Elizabeth replied as she grabbed the phone from Philip, who offered little resistance, “Do not forget that we are only doing this for our children. Should anything happen to them, there is no reason for us to continue acting as your puppets, and you will lose your precious insider information on all of the spies in the area.” Her tone sounded the same as the day when they had originally been coerced into becoming double agents, but now they were backed by the resolve that only a mother could raise when her children are in danger.

    The earpiece remained silent for several seconds. “…A convincing argument, I will admit, but I do wonder if we could simply find another spy…”

    Abruptly, a new voice popped up, “please, Director Gaad, sir, is it not the job of the FBI to help those in danger? We’ve got to find those kids.”

    “I hope you’re not neglecting your duties operating this wire to argue with me, Agent Louis. As I’ve said already, we’re not in the business of helping Soviet spies.”

    “Then for the children! They don’t have anything to do with their spying, and they’re not even adults, for crying out loud! Or have you forgotten the motto of the FBI?”

    “You’ve got a lot of nerve to say something like that to your superior, agent.” Somehow, Philip and Elizabeth could sense more anger coming out of that statement than anything Gaad had shouted before.

    “So where is the bravery or integrity in leaving two American children to die? Or have you only remembered fidelity?”

    A sharp silence filled the air, before Gaad finally spoke.

    “…Do remember your salary review is coming up within three weeks, Agent Louis.” Strong words, but there was an unmistakable tone of defeat behind them.

    “Of course, sir.”

    The voice in the earpiece spoke louder now, but softer too, “Very well. I will arrange for a team to begin a search, as well as issuing a classified notification to all police departments within the region.”

    Philip and Elizabeth only looked down in relief before the voice’s sharp edge returned, “In the meantime, continue fulfilling your end of our deal. That is all.” A sharp static sound filled the earpiece for a split second, followed by silence.

    Written by @President Earl Warren and @All Hail Enterprise

    Photos of the Rumsfeld Administration at War

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    President Rumsfeld on a state visit to the States of South America recently freed from communism. He is shaking hands with Argentinean, and former exile, Jose Pampuro.


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    The President touches down in Baghdad to talk with Iraqi leaders and meet American soldiers.

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    Rumsfeld and Independent Senator, as well as Defence Committee Chairman, Joe Biden.

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    Rumsfeld signs a street sign, to be put outside of Baghdad, as a sign of friendship between America and Iraq.
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    Large workloads during the war were known to take a toll on the president's health.

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    Meeting with representative George W. Bush (R-TX), head of the House Armed Services Committee.

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    The President and former Secretary of State Dick Cheney. Rumsfeld visited Wyoming semi-frequently, when he needed a more quiet setting.

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    Rumsfeld waiting to give a speech at Stanford, next to professor Condoleezza Rice.​
     
    CountofDooku, Leon Trotsky and Zagan like this.
  10. The Congressman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Good ol' USA
    On March 1, 1991, the guns that had stood in a tense silence since Fenrir petered out five months before erupted in a sheet of flame. From Gdansk to Krakow to Bratislava to Zagreb the frontline descended into the chaos and immense death that characterized modern war. Operation Sledgehammer, the offensive that the Allies believed would end the war, had begun in four main theaters: Balkan, Caucasus, Northern, and Central.

    Clandestine communication between the Allies and Slobodan Milosevic’s government in Belgrade had been ongoing since it took over. The decision to support a “Greater Serbia” was agreed to at the Riyadh Conference – the Slovene and Croatian provisional governments led by Freyist opposition figures Jože Pučnik and Franjo Tuđman respectively were initially up in arms, the Croatians especially because of the significant loss of territory involved, but were eventually battered into submission by western diplomats to accede because they would be free anyway and the Serbian subjects would be other ethnicities – and significant coordination was made. Milosevic and his Serbian-dominated government secured the command structure of key divisions in the frontline and internally. While the 1st Balkan Front under Soviet Marshal Konstantin Kobets had deployed most of the Yugoslav forces to Milosevic’s direct command (though with heavy KGB supervision) to hold Yugoslavia, there were 30,000 troops directly at the frontline under General Ratko Mladić at Karlovac.

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    Serbian commanders shortly after defecting to the Allies.
    In the pre-dawn hours of March 1, Mladić immediately switched sides, allowing the Italian 2nd Army under Guilio Fraticelli to advance essentially unopposed and surround and destroy the Soviet and Bulgarian troops between Karlovac and the coast. Meanwhile, Anglo-Italian forces under Domenico Corcione commenced the Second Battle of Zagreb with Kobets. Allied airpower was locked in a fierce battle for control of airspace across the entire front, planes from thirty countries swarming the beleaguered Red Air Force.

    In Yugoslavia itself, at 8:00 AM Milosevic addressed the nation and announced that Serbia was unilaterally declaring independence. All over the nation key junctures fell to units that declared for the new Serbian nation. Sarajevo came under control of minor party official Radovan Karadžić who immediately drew massive Soviet, Albanian (but not for long as Albania pulled out of the war in mid-March after a coup against its hardline government), and loyalist forces to assault the city. Key air installations were deliberately targeted, essentially shutting down all anti-air defenses for all of Bosnia and the Dalmatian coast. This was deliberate on Milosevic’s part, for it precipitated the multi-day drop of 52,500 the Allied Air Cavalry Corps at Sremska Mitrovica, the largest primarily heliborne assault since Ia Drang.

    The Second Battle of Zagreb was a massive defeat for the USSR, Fraticelli having turned their flank and causing a rout. Given the Allied assault into Hungary to the north, the only way out for the 1st Balkan Front to continue the fight from secure territory was the E-70 highway through to besieged Belgrade. It was a direct line and Kobets knew that the mobile SAMs and what fighters he still possessed after the first week’s battles would protect the withdrawal. There was, however, one catch. Directly straddling the highway was the Allied Air Cavalry Corps at Sremska Mitrovica. The only way out was to smash through their well-prepared defenses before the bulk of the Anglo-Italian armored columns could rip apart their rearguard. A task that he assigned to General Boris Snetkov, the victor of Milan who commanded the 2nd Motor-Rifle Army and Romanian II Corps to attack the Allies on the 9th.

    Commanding the AACC was Lt. General Bruce Crandall, a veteran of the Battle of Ia Drang (in which he won the Medal of Honor). Under his authority were units of American, British, and Italian origin that were considered the elite. Since they were landed they had been fortifying the city and surrounding countryside with everything they could – the local populace heeded Milosevic’s call and helped them as allies of the Serbian people. It was on the 10th when the initial Warsaw Pact forces arrived, elements of the Romanian II Corps. They immediately threw themselves into the fray. They managed to surround the British Parachute Regiment under the infamous Colonel John Roland in the village of Martinci but were savaged by the rest of the AACC when they tried to enter the town proper. On the following two days the entire force arrived and moved to swarm over and annihilate the defenses.

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    At one point, only the timely arrival of Italian strike fighters and USAF AC-130 gunships managed to keep the waves and waves of Soviet/Romanian infantry and tanks from swarming the AACC. Attrition and grievous losses on the first day of Sledgehammer had by now all but wiped out the Warsaw Pact air forces in the Balkans region. Thus, the AACC was unmolested from the air while whole Soviet tank battalions were wiped out by USAF A-10 Warthogs or Italian Tornados. On the 12th, lead Italian armored formations reached the town and completed the ring of steel. Kobets knew that the jig was up despite trying two additional breakout attempts into Serbia and Bosnia, and once he had found out that the Front’s Zampolit was ordered to execute him if he even contemplated surrender, he ordered the arrest of every political officer and KGB liaison. This completed, Kobets surrendered the 1.1 million troops of the 1st Balkan Front to the Allies on March 25, 1990.

    It wasn’t just through Bosnia that the Allies hit. Having dispatched Syria and gotten immense reinforcement in the Caucasus, Turkey had transferred hundreds of thousands of troops to its European front. After a short artillery bombardment, they began the drive into Bulgaria, aiming straight for Sofia. In occupied Greece, Royal Navy and Italian Navy ships began massive supporting fire as tens of thousands of Free Greek, South African, Rhodesian, and Moroccan forces landed in Attica, Ionia, and the Peloponnesus. Commanded overall by South African Field Marshal Magnus Malan, the conclusion of the war in Africa allowed them to move their forces to the Egyptian coast to fight in Europe, a move Pretoria made without hesitation. Athens was liberated on the 6th to cheering crowds. What few occupation troops (mostly Bulgarian or communist Greek) were left rapidly collapsed and by the end of the month most of the nation was back under the Government of Nikolaos Makarezos.

    Bulgarian/Romanian forces, at this point acting out of desperation and sheer Communist zeal (for a few), set up a defense line through the northern mountains. Malan, hoping to bypass this and enjoying full naval supremacy, decided on an amphibious invasion commanded by the black African hero commander Themba Matanzima to take the key city of Thessaloniki. Code-named Renoster, the landing proceeded on the first of April and largely wasn’t opposed on the beach due to pure surprise.

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    However, the great first day did not lead to complete victory. The hilly terrain and poor coordination between the SADF/RDF landing forces and the Greeks or the Italian Navy delayed the assault on the city until tens of thousands of Bulgarian and Romanian reinforcements were thrown into the fight. The arrival of Turkish mechanized units on the flank managed to prevent an extended urban conflict but the opportunity for a decisive victory wouldn’t happen here. It turned out to be for naught for Matanzima caught up and crushed the Warsaw Pact forces at Skopje one week later.

    Following the major victories at Second Zagreb, Sremska Mitrovica, Edirne, Attica, and Skopje, the Balkans front was largely cleanup. The main force was the 1st Balkans Front, the 2nd and 3rd mainly rearguard and weakened Warsaw Pact ally forces. With Albania already capitulated, in April the dominoes began to fall. Yugoslavia capitulated first, loyalist forces surrendering to the Allies in Montenegro on the condition that they not be turned over to Milosevic’s Serbian government (which would treat them far worse than the Allies would). Bulgaria went next after Turkish armored divisions reached Sofia. South African forces found the near nonagenarian Greek Communist leader Nikos Zachariadis and he was executed after two days at President Makarezos’ orders. Romania, under threat and being bombarded on all sides, General Vasile Milea – who had escaped from being surrounded – disobeyed his orders to prepare Romania to resist the Allies. Instead, he flooded the capitol with armored forces. The Presidential Palace and the Securitate headquarters were swarmed, President Elena Ceausescu and her ministers arrested as gifts for the coming Allies. Milea declared himself the leader of a provisional military government and sought out the Americans and Germans through the Swiss Embassy for terms. Romania capitulated on April 23rd. Aside from sporadic communist resistance and repressive measures that the Serbian forces conducted to secure their control, by May the fighting here was over. The Balkans had been liberated.

    With the Pahlavi Dynasty restored in Iran, the vast networks of the Middle Eastern militaries shifted their conscript-swollen armies towards the Soviet Caucasus – though Pakistan and Afghanistan moved their forces to assist the Timurid Empire in capturing the major cities of the Kazak SSR. Mountainous and undeveloped in general, the forces STAVKA rushed in to defend the region had a distinct advantage. However, the forces were both understrength and lacking in heavy weapons (although plenty of small arms and ammunition; an AK-47 could pack a hell of a punch). Allied forces divided into two main commands, one commanded by Israeli General Ehud Barak and the other by Egyptian Defense Minister Hosni Mubarak. Bristling with battle hardened troops and plentiful weapons, on March 1 they surged forward. The goal was Volgograd and they were determined to take it.

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    Israeli troops fighting on the streets of Tiblisi.
    The Soviets fought hard, KGB military police and propaganda about defending their homes from the imperialist invaders invigorating them. But the sheer weight of Allied firepower began to overwhelm them. It was a battle of attrition and eventually the frontline shifted. Yerevan fell first to Iraqi/Egyptian/Jordanian forces, followed by Tiblisi to the Israeli II Corps. Efforts at a counterattack by Soviet forces only resulted in disaster, the Star of David being raised atop Mount Elbrus. It seemed nothing could stop the Allied juggernaut.

    Since the previous summer the Caucasus region had been home to a persistent, ongoing insurgency. Muslim and ethnic minority groups fighting against the KGB and Interior troops in the mountains and forests. However, as Sledgehammer began the groups began erupting into open warfare as they moved to seize whole cities from Soviet authorities.

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    It was the biggest in the Azeri SSR, which already had a functioning government in Tabriz (Iranian Azerbaijan being given tentative independence following the peace agreement accepted by the new Shah). Heavily outnumbered Red Army forces were surrounded and wiped out in the Baku peninsula. The loss of the major oil refineries hurt greatly, but what was going on in the north was even worse. Chechen, Dagestani, Circassian, and Ingush rebels essentially controlled the region by April. Joined by Israeli and Turkish paratroopers, they forced seven Soviet divisions trapped in the northern Azeri SSR to surrender on April 13.

    For much of April and May the war bogged down in the central Caucasus. Setting up the governments of the various rebel nations proved to be quite trying, ethnic hatred threatening to cause vicious civil war between the Muslim hill tribes. Given the destroyed nature of many of the nations, many in the Middle East started to direct their supplies to rebuilding rather than supplying the front. Thus, by the time the advance began to move towards Volgograd once more, the focus of the war had shifted to its cinematic conclusion in fronts far to the north.

    While Marshal Gromov and Lt. General Karpukhin was the supreme commander and supreme zampolit of all Warsaw Pact forces in the Western Theater (everything north of the Yugoslav border with Hungary), the preparations for the coming Allied offensive were taken over by KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov – with the full cooperation and assent of Defense Minister Demichev. Essentially the whole of the pre-war border of the USSR was strewn with defensive positions. Gas was distributed liberally to every unit. Mines by the millions were strewn, every man, woman, and child capable of holding a gun pressed into service. Every city was turned into a fortress, while every town, village, and collective farm was transformed into a hardpoint where the mines would hem any Allied advance into. In a parallel to Nazi Germany, the Komsomol (fourteen and older), Young Pioneers (eight to fourteen), and even the Little Octoberists (eight and younger) were drafted by eager KGB officers and zealous zampolit as extra troops, often given RPGs and Kalashnikovs in free roving anti-tank assault teams led by a militiaman or KGB border guard – incidents of rape and molestation were common in these assault teams, leading Allied soldiers to automatically shoot or burn alive the adult commander when captured in most occasions. This was nothing compared to civilians in the occupied or other Warsaw Pact nations, which were largely used as cannon fodder and human shields under the direction of governments that were basically slaves of Moscow.

    Chebrikov had a surprise for the Allies as well. Since the beginning of Zhirinovsky’s rebellion, the Red Army could not spare forces to fight him. The Politburo then dispatched the elite Interior Department and KGB personal armies to combat the fascist rebels with the best of new equipment from the Ural factory towns. These KGB soldiers were known for their fanaticism. They fought with zealous disregard for their own lives and never took prisoners. Rebels called them the Blue Devils (because of the blue stripes on their uniforms) while the Allied soldiers began referring them as Bluejackets or the “Commie SS” when first encountered in combat. In a military beset with supply issues, the best of everything was given to Chebrikov’s private army, including the Kornet anti-tank missile (which could destroy an M1 Haig or Challenger 2 via frontal hit) and the T-91 Heavy Main Battle Tank (armed with a converted 2A36 152mm howitzer and the latest in explosive reactive armor, it outmatched the Haig in combat capability). The goal was to have the understrength divisions, Warsaw Pact allies, and child units as sacrificial lambs to wear down the Allies, and then the KGB and Guards Tank/Shock divisions would counterattack and wipe out the enemy. As always, battleplans never survived contact with the enemy. But carnage would ensue either way.

    Sledgehammer in the north began with furious bombardment at Soviet positions in Gdynia and Gdansk/Danzig. The driving force was the German 4th and 11th Armies under Field Marshal Ulrich de Maiziere, who also commanded the Danish I Corps and the Irish Expeditionary Force. All was part of a side operation by the German General Staff dubbed Operation Arminius – after the great Germanic chieftain that won the Battle of the Tuetoberg Forest in ancient times. The goal was to liberate the longtime Imperial homeland of East Prussia. It had been annexed by Joseph Stalin after WWII and it was longstanding policy of the Freyist Government that it would become German once more come hell or high water. The Soviets, facing their longtime blood enemy, fought with exceptional brutality (no distinctions were made between the Danish and Germans, a massacre of 300 would be Danish POWs leading to Danish soldiers rarely taking prisoners of their own). Maiziere’s forces fought a slow slog through the Prussian plains but methodically grew closer to Kaliningrad/Konigsberg.

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    Kaliningrad was not going to be an easy fight. The KGB oversaw the defenses, and German Leopard II tanks made their first contact with the T-91. For once the Soviets had the advantage, losses of German armor being murderous (one T-91 commander, Colonel Dimitri Dimitriovich Filitov, knocked out 31 German/Danish armored vehicles, including seven Leopard IIs, before withdrawing from lack of ammunition; he would be rewarded with the Hero of the Soviet Union for this action). However, the Luftwaffe dominated the skies and rained steel and napalm on Red Army defenses in the city. On March 16th a division of German marines landed at Zelenogradsk/Cranz north of the city and hit the Soviet rear in a daring thunder run. Marshal Gromov ordered a full retreat but not after 30,000 were captured in the northwest of the city. Church bells rang all over Germany to celebrate the return of East Prussia to the Fatherland.

    South of Gdansk was the larger Allied force commanded by General Maxwell Thurman, comprised of American, Canadian, Dutch, and Belgian troops. Backed up by landings of the American 2nd Marine Division at the Gulf of Riga, the armored assault swung through north-central Poland and eastern East Prussia to join with the Germans in liberating the Baltic states. Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians rose up en masse, greeting the Allies as liberators as city after city was wrested from the Soviets. KGB troops and still to strength armored forces counterattacked everywhere they could, leaving the countryside a field of death with strewed wreckage and burning vehicle hulks everywhere. It was hard going but the Allies continued their advance.

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    American troops preparing for a KGB counterattack before the spring Rasputista outside Riga.

    On the Scandinavian front, Soviet forces were stretched so thin that they disintegrated from powerful Allied assaults. Landings by Cuban, Mexican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan forces (ferried to the fight by the US and Royal Navies) recaptured the Norwegian fjord towns of Sandnessjøen, Bodø, Narvik, Tromsø, and Kirkenes. The Cuban 2nd Infantry division and 1st Marine Brigade suffered horrendous losses when, backed up by the firepower of the carrier USS Richard M. Nixon, battleship USS Wisconsin, and nuclear cruiser USS Texas after the battle group beat off a land-based raketonosets in the Battle of the Barents Sea, landed at Polyarny. Their goal was to capture Murmansk and end the Soviet naval threat once and for all – although the capture of Iceland and the defeat in the Denmark Strait had essentially crippled them, submarines were still harassing Allied shipping and the core of the Red Navy was still afloat. The going was slow for the Cubans, and despite receiving reinforcements from the Mexican 12th Infantry Division it took three weeks to reach Murmansk and another week to capture it in intense house to house fighting with the Soviet Navy. Intelligence had fouled up, the port empty as the Soviets had fled to Archangel.

    Meanwhile, the Latin American landings were joined with a blitzkrieg through Lapland and Finland, similarly backed up by Allied naval strength in the Baltic. The Irish broke through from Turku and were in Helsinki within two weeks. By March 25, Soviet forces in the region had either surrender or retreated to the Vyborg line north of Leningrad. All of Scandinavia had been liberated and Karela secured – thus beginning the Leningrad campaign once the remainder of Army Group Baltic reached Lake Peipus and the Narva River on April 1.

    Drawn up by General Thurman, Field Marshal de Maiziere, and Dutch General Adrianus van der Vlis, the plan would involve three main thrusts. The first two would be launched simultaneously: the Scandinavian Allies would break through the Vyborg line while also tying down as many Soviet divisions as possible while in the south, the German-American forces would smash across the Estonian border to capture Pskov, Novgorod, and Shlisselburg. Surrounding the city, they would move in to swarm the defenders. The hope was not to create another “Siege of Leningrad” to drum up Soviet propaganda, but since it was approaching summer any efforts to reinforce the city via Lake Ladoga would be futile.

    As the spring Rasputista began to wane the offensive began in earnest. The KGB fought to the death, no weapon or tactic out of bounds as increasingly restive Red Army units were forced into combat at bayonet point. Near-total American airpower and an increasing lack of fuel for the USSR kept the advance going. By April 24, Shlisselburg had fallen and the Allied forces began to assault the city from both sides. Marshal Gennady Kolkhin declared that every Soviet citizen would fight to the death as the former capitol became embroiled in near-Stalingrad conditions over every block. American Marines from captured Kronshtadt joined with Canadian forces to seize the port in a daring but costly assault, tens of thousands of Soviets perishing as the KGB ordered human wave assaults.

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    On May 13, these tactics and the increasingly draconian martial law among civilians (even the slightest hesitance among the Young Pioneers would lead to a bullet to the back of the skull) finally reached the boiling point. Colonel General Sagadat Nurmagambetov – commander of the Volkhov Front – led a battalion of trusted Kazakh soldiers to Kolkhin’s HQ and arrested everyone present. Messages were broadcast to the Allies for a ceasefire, and the entire Leningrad garrison surrendered two days later.

    Credit to @NotA_Potato for the wikiboxes.
     
    B3L, Lisowczycy, King_Arthur and 2 others like this.
  11. The Congressman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Good ol' USA
    On March 1, 1991, the massed forces of the Allies – dominated by the US Army, French Army, and Imperial German Liberation Army – finally launched the cinematic grand offensive into Central Europe. The goal was Moscow, the heart of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Comparisons were immediately made to Operation Barbarossa, but the Allies were not deterred. They wanted the war ended by the summer, and the hope was the successful capture of Moscow would cause the Soviet government to implode completely. Eleven and a half million troops readied themselves for the task across all fronts. And doing their damndest to stop them were nearly ten million troops of the Warsaw Pact.

    The vast majority of the Red Army and KGB Army were placed in the sheer fortress of eastern Poland, where tens of thousands of Polish slave laborers died constructing the “Demichev Line” after the Soviet Defense Secretary. The only taboo the Soviets were unwilling to break was the use of nuclear weapons (biological weapons deemed both too inefficient and counterproductive). Ethnic minorities and Warsaw Pact allies – most deemed disloyal by the KGB since the Warsaw Uprising – were sent in mass human wave attacks at the advancing allies. Prodded at gunpoint they had no choice, and we cut down in what one American officer called “essentially murder.” Such risk was not given to the KGB divisions and Red Army units that Marshal Gromov deemed elite. Their counterattacks were pre-planned from excellent positions, combining high-quality equipment, ferocity, and what little aircraft the USSR could spare. And yet, the Allied advance could not be halted.

    But Poland wasn’t the main objective of the initial campaign. Colin Powell had instead targeted Slovakia and Hungary for the main objective. If both fell then the Demichev line would become untenable and vulnerable to flank attacks from the south. Assaulting forces from the drive to the Balkans were diverted north after the defection of Serbia, the defensive lines east of Vienna falling apart on the second day. What was dubbed in the press as the Battle of Hungary was little more than an ever grinding series of armored attacks and counterattacks, Allied tank losses for the first time exceeding their foes in a pitched campaign.

    [​IMG]
    Swarming with KGB police units, the governments of Hungary and Slovakia did not face coups that the majority of other Warsaw Pact nations saw. Instead, their capture fell to the Allies themselves, communist ruling structures ceasing to exist as the western forces steamrolled ahead. On April 1st, General Powell ordered German General Wolfgang Altenburg to shift his forces north. Pierced from the south, the Demichev Line folded up and Marshal Gromov withdrew into the Soviet Union itself.

    Hungary’s collapse opened Romanian Transylvania to Allied assault. The strongest Communist nation in eastern Europe had already been battered by near uninterrupted air campaigns. American and British bombers dusted off the assault routes from WWII strategy and hit vital areas such as Bucharest, Constanța, and Ploesti with massive loads of high explosive and incendiaries. Internally, Elena Ceausescu was actively cooperating with KGB authorities in preparing the nation to “Resist the Capitalist Vampires,” which in the experience of Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, and Eastern Poland meant turning the nation into a combination fortress and concentration camp. Freshly returned from Hungary – in which he watched half of the crack Romanian army surrender to the Allies – General Vasile Milea found himself horrified at the orders given by his leader and her Soviet handlers. Namely, to summarily execute any Romanian civilian who so much as “Turned their eye the wrong way at a propaganda poster.” Whole cities of disloyal elements were earmarked to be razed with no survivors, so Milea marshalled the army to act.

    On April 20th, as the Battle of Leningrad was raging, the Romanian Army turned on the Securitate and whatever Red Army forces were there (most defenses were tasked to the Romanians, the Soviets withdrawing into their own territory). Ceausescu and her senior leadership – what was left following the purge of her husband – were captured alive, though the commander of the Securitate's "Internal Order" task force (who essentially massacred dissidents) was “found dead by his own hand", though the lack of a body pointed to a far grizzlier end. Milea immediately sought terms with the west, who granted them on condition of full surrender of all ground forces, handing over of the war criminals, indefinite occupation, and free passage through Romanian territory. This was granted and Allied tanks raced through the defeated country for the Ukraine.

    [​IMG]
    Guards tank soldiers preparing defensive positions west of Smolensk under the watch of a KGB officer (far left).

    Reinforced with the ANZAC corps from the Middle East, the invasion of the Soviet Union commenced in earnest. The large swaths of open ground favored the attackers as it made defense in depth much harder. The warming and drying months prevented General Winter from taking its toll, better logistics discounted the problem faced by the USSR’s different rail gauge, and the traditional Red Army tactic of trading space for time didn’t hold up in the face of the deteriorating political situation. The diversion of all combat power to the western front brought Zhirinovsky and the Timurids back on the offensive, and ethnic minorities all over the USSR began arming themselves to make their bid for nationhood. Gennady Yanayev, an original member of the coup plotters, realized defeat was inevitable and began stockpiling weapons in the Ural industrial towns for the post-war power vacuum.

    By the end of April, the Politburo was increasingly at odds with Marshal Gromov. Despite the intensely delusional propaganda detailing how soon Paris, London, Bonn, and Warsaw would fall – no one missed out that just a year before Warsaw was nowhere near the frontlines – there was no denying the USSR’s predicament. Minsk had fallen on the 11th, followed by Zhitomir on the 14th, Kiev on the 20th after fierce fighting that nearly gutted the French 1st Army, and finally Smolensk on the 28th. A vicious KGB counterattack at Pripyat would go down in lore, as a single American tank held up a KGB assault battalion allowing American forces to reform was immortalized in the 2013 action-film Fury (a near scare involving zealous KGB operatives deliberately causing a meltdown in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was averted due to a mutiny by local partisan forces). Incensed at these defeats, Chebrikov and Demichev ordered Gromov to launch a grand counteroffensive to protect Moscow.

    The task fell to General Valentin Bobryshev. Commander of the Central Front, he readied the elite 1st Guards Tank Army (his unit during the Battle of Koblenz), the KGB I Corps, and an amalgamation of various tank, motorized, or motor-rifle divisions, and prepared a vicious counterattack at Borodino – the old battleground of the Napoleonic wars. Expending whatever reserves, hastily assembled conscripts, and Soviet Youth League/Young Pioneer forces in a furious fight over Vyazma with the American III Corps, his elite forces waited in hidden positions waiting to strike. And on May 12, the lead vanguards of French and American troops sprang the trap.

    Allied intelligence had reported the KGB forces and several motor rife divisions in and around Borodino, which is what the Franco/Americans expected when they ran into heavy resistance around the old Napoleonic battlefield at dusk on May 12. They were the screening force while larger forces converged on greater Moscow from the northwest and southwest, and so were prepared to take fanatical resistance. What they did not expect and were taken completely aback were the crack Soviet armor from the 1st Guards Tank Army attacked from the left flank. What little tactical air power that the USSR still had were thrown into the fray, blunting the Allied air forces and allowing the Red Army tanks to savage the Allies. As a result, General Norman Schwarzkopf ordered his reserves into the fray. Originally slated to help assault the flanks, the ANZAC Expeditionary Force and the 2nd Marine Division were launched to stabilize the line.

    [​IMG]
    Commanded by Marine Lt. General and former National Security Advisor Oliver “Ollie” North, the relief force hit the advancing Guards and KGB divisions at 4:17 AM on the 13th. For eight hours the fighting raged, documented live by western radio and television to riveted audiences back home. The KGB never quit, fighting like savages while the Guards Tank units struck, withdrew, then counterstruck while the Marines and Australians did the same. Fields all around Borodino were bathed in blood, wrecked vehicles, broken corpses, and greasy black smoke. By the afternoon, both sides were exhausted. Bobryshev and North knew that there was no chance for a breakthrough with the units they had. The attack petered out by the evening of the 13th. Getting into the weeds proclaimed an Allied victory, but the result was more of a draw.

    Borodino aside, the Allies had manpower to spare while the Soviets didn’t. Each new American or British soldier that arrived was well-trained and well-equipped, while the conscript pressed into Red Army service were little more than young boys and old men along with many women, armed with assault rifles lacking more than two clips of ammunition per day. The Allies ruled the skies. The Allies ruled high-endurance engagements. The result was inevitable. General Powell announced to the world from Brussels on the 15th that it had commenced.

    The Battle of Moscow had begun.

    "The time has come! We must advance as the four horsemen of the apocalypse, ripping through the godless communist horde with the same fury as they used in their campaign of rape and murder in the free world. Only then can peace be obtained."

    -John G. Schmitz on his radio program, May 20, 1991


    The Battle of Moscow fully deserved the cinematic treatment that Hollywood would give to it in the following years. Over five million troops on both sides would square off, Soviet commander Valentin Bobryshev defending from the largest network of fortifications seen on earth since the Second World War (ironically, also at Moscow). General Norman Schwarzkopf - commander of the Allied Army Group Center - had the unenviable task of achieving what the Wehrmacht had failed to do fifty years previously, but had the advantage of the Soviets being at the end of their tether. As such, the goal was not just to capture Moscow but primarily to achieve a massive propaganda victory. On May 15, 1991, the Battle of Moscow commenced according to Schwarzkopf's plan.

    To the north, a large Hispano-German force commanded by Field Marshal Ernst Kreuse (his force included Portuguese and British units) would break through at Volokolamsk with the goal of cutting off the roads and railheads north of the city. To the south, a Franco-ANZAC force under French General Michel Roquejeoffre had the task of reaching the southern approaches of the Moscow River at the suburb of Dzerzhinsky. Neither was any goal of Schwarzkopf's since it wasn't his intention to surround the city in a massive pocket, but threatening Bobryshev of that very occurrence would force the Russian commander to reinforce his flanks, taking troops away from what Schwarzkopf intended to be his main push.

    [​IMG]
    US Marines rooting out Soviet forces outside Krasnogorsk.

    Decided beforehand by Allied command, the main assault on Moscow was tasked to the 950,000 American component. Comprising of the Third Army (Gen John Yeosock), Eighth Army (Gen John Galvin), I Airborne Corps (Lt. Gen John Foss), and 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Lt. Gen Oliver North). In the center itself, tasked with driving straight to Red Square, were the Marines, 82nd Airborne Division, and the Texas National Guard's 36th Infantry Division. Facing off against the I and IV Shock Armies and the KGB II Corps, for weeks brutal house to house fighting ripped through the young men on the frontlines. Soviet forces fought like wildcats from prepared defensive positions, the Americans using artillery and airpower - many strikes coming directly from flights of the Moscow Bomber itself - to suppress Red Army defenses and minimize casualties. All forms of gas were used as rates of prisoner capture were quite low for a major battle.

    Over four weeks of sheer hell had engulfed Moscow, but by June 10, the 36th Division had broken through to within yards of Red Square itself.

    -------------------------​

    Moscow, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
    4:17 PM local time
    June 10, 1991

    Above the ever present detonations and crackle of machine guns, a sharp clang resonated through the air. "GAS!" Banging a wrench or spade on an empty artillery shell had been used in WWI to signal a gas attack, and the practice was resurrected in WWIII.

    Cursing up a storm, Cpl. Dan Morrell quickly slipped his MOPP mask into place. A bitch to wear in normal times, in the sudden humid heat that had passed over Moscow, it was a nightmare. "Fucking Russia," he muttered. "Fucking Commies." A sudden wave of anger coursed through him. "FUCK YOU!" Leveling his M-16 rifle downrange, Morrell emptied a whole clip at the Red Army lines. Winking tracers erupted on both sides, filling the air with lancing darts of flame before it died down.

    "Is anyone hurt?!" screamed Cpt. Tom DeLay, company commander turned battalion commander after a KGB sniper bought a plot for the Major. He had been some political bigshit back in Houston before the crap started flying around - Morrell didn't give a damn, being from Lubbock himself. "God damn it, Morrell. Don't bring more shit on us than necessary!"

    "Sorry sir," he replied, hoping he had hit a Commie. Swirling around them were greenish mists. 'Mustard gas.' Morrell silently prayed in his foxhole dug out of a shell crater in the middle of the street, thankful that it wasn't nerve gas and praying that his MOPP suit would keep the blister agent out.

    Suddenly, the freight train screams of American artillery picked up above, joined by streaking trails of rockets. "Alright men!" DeLay shouted over the din. "Up ahead is the motherfucking Kremlin! Where the Commie assholes plotted and schemed to take us down and murder our families! But they aren't there, and we are fucking here!"

    "Hooyah!" screamed the Texans, Morrell included. To their left, the chunks of asphalt rumbled as half a dozen M1 Haig tanks rolled towards the front.

    "Those KGB cocksuckers are gonna fight to the death to hold this piece of crap ground! Well FUCK THEM! Let's send the godless shits to burn in hell! Forward!" Around him, the battalion's heavy machine guns and the cannon atop the tanks erupted. Throat hoarse from the wild shrieks - some Alabaman he served with back in Germany had called it the Rebel Yell - Morrell charged with the rest of his men.

    ------------------------​
    Kuybyshev, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
    5:23 Moscow time
    June 10, 1991


    It had come to this.

    During the Great Patriotic War, as the Germans were on the verge of capturing Moscow, Stalin and his government had relocated much of itself to the city of Kuybyshev far away from the front. A massive bunker was created for Stalin's personal use, but as the Germans were thrown back it was no longer needed. It existed as testament to how close the USSR came to collapsing.

    Now, sitting in the very same bunker, Vladimir Yefimovich Semichastny realized the symbolism of it all. The Workers and Peasants had resisted an invasion upon them and triumphed. Fifty years later, the same nation had launched a war of aggression and were on the verge of defeat. 'Is this what Hitler felt in those last days as our army bore down on him?' Government propaganda framed the current Red Army as finishing what Marshal Zhukov and Stalin started - when in fact they were instead the modern analogue to the Nazis.

    All stood as the three men that ran the Soviet Union - far less than they had but three years before - entered the conference room. 'Three?' Semichastny raised an eyebrow at the General Secretary's presence. Kryuchkov hadn't been seen in private for the past four months, Chebrikov and Demichev instead running the country essentially on their own.

    There was one major official missing. "Where is Comrade Yanayev?" asked Admiral Nikolai Vladimirovich Zateyev, the new commander of the Soviet Navy. A few were curious as to why he was here and not in Arkhangelsk with the fleet, but brushed it off.

    A sneer formed on Chebrikov's face. "The traitor has declared our authority defunct and is declaring himself the new General Secretary." Semichastny had been the only one other than the big three to know - essentially because Yanayev had sent him a letter detailing his decision to take over a rump branch of the Communist Party. Not good, but he could understand the impulse. "We are to continue without him while my department will bring him to justice."

    "Comrades," began the General Secretary. "Today begins the new offensive in our push for victory..."

    "With what? Your mistress' shit on your dick?!" Everyone, Semichastny included, was shocked by the outburst - it was a young candidate member (merely 55)... one Georgy Razumovsky if he remembered correctly. No one dared speak to the leaders in that manner - but these were not normal times. "If you can see, the frontline is in Moscow, not London or Paris!" Silent murmurings indicated that the majority of the new candidate members were behind him. 'Good.'

    Instead of calling for the guards to haul poor Razumovsky away, Demichev merely smiled. This was not good. "The frontline will soon be in Washington, Comrade Razumovsky."

    "Comrade Defense Minister," said Semichastny, deferential to the man that had once been his friend - so many friends lost, by death or insanity. "With what army do you hope to make this offensive on Washington?" The man had lost his mind. Perhaps tomorrow's meeting would be the time to...

    "We will not use our army," Chebrikov replied. "But the stockpile of missiles that we have saved for this occasion."

    If a pin dropped in the chamber, it would boom with explosive force. "What?" gulped another candidate member.

    Demichev grinned wide. "I have just given the order for our strategic rocket forces to engage all pre-planned targets in the Imperialist and Traitor nations. This will precipitate our offensive along the line that will bring us to Washington... or what's left of it rather."

    A look of horror crossed Semichastny's face. "Mothercocksuckingfuck! Have you gone fucking insane?!" He erupted out of his chair, old wounds aching. "Do you wish to doom us all?!"

    "The west is weak, they would not dare touch us," the General Secretary shot back.

    "Weak? They're in fucking Moscow! You shits are going to destroy the world for fucking nothing!"

    A sharp crack rang out, a smoldering bullet hole in the large table. Pistols were in the hands of Admiral Zateyev and Minister Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - the last of the reformers and the only one not to be purged. 'They did it early. Good.'

    "What is the meaning of this!" screamed Demichev as guards burst in the room. But instead of KGB uniforms, they wore those of Naval Infantry - Zateyev's men.

    "In the name of the Worker's and Peasants of the Soviet Union, you are under arrest," Solzhenitsyn barked. "I will be taking over as General Secretary to save the Russian people. Take them away!" Screams and curses left the three leaders, other members of the Politburo going along silently. Soon it was just Semichastny, Solzhenitsyn, Zateyev, and the candidate members. "Get to the Rocket Forces! Cancel the order!"

    Semichastny ran with the speed of a younger man to the phone.

    ---------------------------​

    Moscow, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
    5:50 PM local time
    June 10, 1991

    "FUCK YOU!" Mouth open in a snarl, Morrell loosed a long burst. The KGB trooper fell over, blood spurting from his gut. Ducking behind a plush couch, the Texan gritted his teeth as more KGB assholes let loose with automatic fire. "Careful with the flag!" he yelled at a shaking private, Old Glory clutched in one hand. They were so close to the famous Kremlin tower.

    Firing his .45 sidearm, Cpt. DeLay whooped when he hit a KGB asshole in the head. "Chuck a grenade!" he ordered.

    Morrell pulled a pin on the orange-shaped sphere. "Frag out!" Tossing it down the hallway, the booming explosion was followed by crazed screams.

    "CHARGE!" rushing forward, Morrell fired from the hip at the few remaining KGB honor guards fanatically resisting the American advance. They had defended the Kremlin like cornered rats, killing as many Texans as they could as the division poured into the black heart of the Evil Empire.

    Hearing the click of an empty magazine, Morrell rushed out into the light at a Commie, bayonet glinting as the man fumbled with the bolt of his Kalashnikov. "Die Commie motherfucker!" Blood spilled from around the wound, Morrell stabbing the Russian in the throat.

    "Hoo-ah!" The exultant shout brought his eyes to the scene - one that filled him with fervor. Old Glory, waving atop the walls of the Kremlin right to his side.

    "HOO-AH!" It was as if the entire American Army roared.

    [​IMG]

    The American capture of the Kremlin - an enterprising young Time correspondent capturing the moment Old Glory flew over the iconic red tower - coincided with the unconditional surrender of the Western Front by Marshal Bobryshev. Marshal Gromov, from his headquarters in Nizhny Novgorod, unilaterally requested a ceasefire from General Powell. The Marshall knew that things were happening in Kuibyshev, but only after would he learn how close everything came to disaster.

    --------------------------------​

    Near Novosibirsk, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
    5:48 PM Moscow time
    June 10, 1991

    Not even having time to throw his uniform jacket on, Colonel Artoym Golovko ran into the command vehicle. "What the fuck is going on?!" He had been napping when all of a sudden the missile launch vehicles were preparing to fire their missiles.

    Major Maslov, the Zampolit for the 637th Rocket Regiment, grinned at his - nominal - superior. "Wonderful news. We are to fire our missiles upon the imperialists."

    Golovko's eyes widened. "Have they launched at us?" The regiment was one of the more important ones, its missiles aimed directly at targets on the American Eastern Seaboard.

    "No, we are to strike them in preparation for an offensive against the American capitol." Maslov was filled with glee.

    Only horror filled the Colonel. "Bozhmoi! What the cocksucking fuck is going on?!"

    "Comrade Colonel," a pimply-faced private ran to him with a leaf of paper. "Orders from command. We are to stand down our missiles!"

    Maslov reddened in fury. "Disregard that order!" he screamed at the controllers. "Launch all missiles!"

    Making a split second judgement call, Golovko removed his sidearm and shot Maslov in the face. Wide eyes stared at him in wonder. Many had secretly fantasized about shooting the cunt, but their commander actually did it.

    It took a moment for Golovko to realize he didn't give a shit. "Stand down all missiles."

    "Sir! Three missiles are already being launched!"

    "DEVIL'S MOTHER! SHOOT THEM DOWN!" Bursting out of the command vehicle, Golovko could already see the nearest missile truck almost ready to fire. Grabbing a belt of grenades that someone, somehow left near the truck - divine providence perhaps - Golovko ran at top speed towards the vehicle. The moments passed in a blur. Pumping his legs across the ground. Climbing onto the truck. The orange-yellow flame of the rocket motor shooting out in a cloud of smoke. Pulling the pins on the grenades just as he reached the base of the missile. And then a flash of pure yellow. And then nothing.

    -------------------​

    Semichastny, Solzhenitsyn, Gromov, Georgy Razumovsky, Zateyev, Bobryshev, and Karpukhin had come to realize that the USSR was doomed as soon as Japan entered the war. Forward thinking, they began to act quickly to prevent the likely nuclear lashing out by the country's leadership once the Allies were close to victory. Gromov would later say it was shocking that it took so long. Using the pipeline to Chebrikov's ear that former Semichastny aide Vladimir Putin had, they used purges and demotions to simultaneously take out hardline officers within the Strategic Rocket Forces, replacing them with loyal allies of theirs. By June 1991, former Cosmonaut and first Soviet on the moon Aleksei Yeliseyev, the new commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces, had total control of the Soviet arsenal. However, the order on June 10 came through the base political officers, and while military units were declaring for Solzhenitsyn's government, the missiles began to be fueled for launch.

    Only 20% of the Soviet missile stockpile at the ready were even begun to be fueled. And the vast majority of those heeded Semichastny's stand down order - often going as far as executing their political officers. Only one, the Novosibirsk Delta site, launched their missiles. Of three that went into ignition stages, one was shot down by a flak battery while the other was taken out by the base commander (he would receive a posthumous Hero of Russia for his sacrifice). One missile with a single 3 megaton thermonuclear warhead made it airborne however. The missile's target: Washington D.C.


    Washington D.C., United States of America
    10:55 AM local time
    June 10, 1991


    Sipping the warm tea, Donald Rumsfeld lowered his book to peer at Joyce from across the few feet separating their armchairs. His wife smiled at him, calmly reading her own book. 'So serene, such a relief.' The stress of the war had aged Rumsfeld beyond his years. Any form of calm was welcome.

    Suddenly, the door burst open and Secret Service agents flooded the room. Tea spilling on the carpet, the agents literally grabbed Rumsfeld's shoulders and manhandled him up. "MARCHING ORDER!"

    "Falcon and Flower are secure," another barked.

    "Don!" Joyce said, her voice loud and tinged with fear.

    The fear and shock had hit the President as well. "What the hell is this?" The Agents were carrying the both of them towards the exit. He could hear the faint whirring of Marine One on the South Lawn.

    "Sir," said William F. Garrison, the National Security Advisor. "NORAD spotted a Soviet Ballistic Missile launched from near Novosibirsk. We have to get you airborne immediately!" A pit formed in Rumsfeld's stomach, bile threatening to spew over his suit. 'Dear God, no. We were so close!' he thought as the agents threw him into the helicopter.

    Fifteen minutes later - record time - Air Force One was soaring into the skies. "Are there any other missiles?" Rumsfeld asked, dreadfully eyeing the nuclear football held by the Air Force Major to his left. 'Please God, have mercy."

    "No sir," Garrison replied. "There's only one."

    "MR. PRESIDENT," shouted Mitch McConnell. "The red phone is ringing."

    No one needed to elaborate. The Red Phone, the one way connection to the Soviet government. It hadn't been used since right after the 1987 coup. Shaking, Rumsfeld answered it. "President Rumsfeld."

    "Mr. President..."

    The voice was unfamiliar. "Who is this?" The call was being monitored by his staff.

    "This is Acting General Secretary Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Forces loyal to me have taken over the government."

    Looking at McConnell, the Chief of Staff had a file in hand. "Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, member of the Politburo since 1979 and Cultural Affairs Minister. Not a hardliner by any means and someone Stalin sent to a gulag."

    "Acting General Secretary, I appreciate the call but your government has fired a nuclear missile at us!" Rumsfeld screamed into the phone.

    "That was the former government's order that we had countermanded. One missile escaped that order and I'm sorry. We're trying to rectify this situation."

    "With all due respect, if this missile does make it through both our attempts, your country will regret ever existing." Hanging up the phone, Rumsfeld turned to the monitors to await the coming fireworks.

    -------------------------​

    It was called Project Excalibur. Conceived by Edward Teller in the late 1960s, as Defense Secretary the physicist had used the ample funding given to him by President Reagan and the Republican congress to test and refine the theory - assistance was requested and provided by French scientists promoted by Premier Jacques Cousteau's science funding initiatives. Top secret testing was conducted throughout the mid and late eighties, and by 1990 a prototype Excalibur satellite was put into orbit.

    Theoretically designed to shoot down multiple warheads, the X-ray laser system central to Excalibur was in place over the Great Plains in geosynchronous orbit when Missile Defense Command at Barksdale Air Base in Louisiana was notified by NORAD of the incoming Soviet missile. Determining it was headed to the Eastern Seaboard, tension ran high as what had previously been theory was now entering a sudden and high-stakes reality.

    No one moved a muscle as the Excalibur One satellite rotated into position. Computers targeting the Soviet missile, the controllers at Barksdale ignited the lasers just as the warhead began its dissent into the atmosphere.

    "Splash one! Splash one!"

    Cheers broke out in Barksdale, Cheyenne Mountain, and Air Force One. Excalibur One had made the first ever missile kill by a spaced based weapon, successfully testing the technology at the worst possible opportunity. The world had avoided nuclear war... just.

    ----------------------------​

    Washington D.C., United States of America
    3:45 PM local time
    June 10, 1991​

    "My fellow Americans..." Rumsfeld straightened his tie, trying mightily to hide the fact that only hours earlier he had been filled with the impending terror of nuclear war. "There has been a coup in the Soviet Union. New forces have taken over after General Secretary Kryuchkov gave the order to commence nuclear war upon the Allied powers.

    "Regrettably, one missile was launched after the new government ordered a stand down." Frightened panic started among the press corps. "But the American space weapon Excalibur One brought down the missile, averting the crisis. Now, I announce that the new leadership of the Soviet Union has requested a ceasefire and agreed to the deceleration of unconditional surrender to the United States of America and her allies."

    Silence filling the hall, soon it was replaced by a wave of raucous cheers from everyone assembled.

    [​IMG]
    President Rumsfeld at the famous VR Day Press Conference.

    Immediately after the accepted ceasefire, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn would announce to the world the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In its stead was the Free Russian Republic, and its first action was to unconditionally surrender to the west.

    The guns across the world fell silent for the first time in two and a half years. World War III, the most destructive conflict in human history, was over.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    A/N: The credit for the wikiboxes go to @NotA_Potato. The reason Excalibur is much more advanced than OTL was due to more funding, an earlier start date, quicker scientific advancements, and sheer luck, though the prototype seen here was essentially an innefficient piece of junk compared to what was planned.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
    B3L, Lisowczycy, TheReformer and 3 others like this.
  12. The Congressman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Good ol' USA
    Across the world on VR day, people were celebrating the end of the war. Throngs of people took to the streets as spontaneous parties broke out – New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Chicago, Houston, Pretoria, Kampala, Jerusalem... Parliaments, presidents, and dictators proclaimed national thanksgivings to honor the troops and the victories after 3 years of brutal war. The casualty notifications were over. The news reports of bloody combat were over. The tension of thinking that nuclear war was just around the corner was over. Capitalism and Communism had faced each other, no holds barred, and capitalism had been victorious.

    However, conditions in the defeated Warsaw Pact was grueling to say the least. Many nations had been completely gutted out thanks to fighting and strategic bombing campaigns. Unlike the Western European, Asian, African, and South American Allies that suffered the same, they were subject to occupation forces. Parts of Russia that were under American or British control weren’t as bad off, while Chilean Argentina, Greater Serbia, or the Iraqi conquests in Iran saw heavy handed and brutal occupation tactics. Post-war developments were just beginning to play out – especially in Russia where the provisional government found themselves only in control of about a third of the nation, the rest belonging to Gennady Yanayev’s rump Communist Russia, Zhirinovsky’s Russian State, or the various separatist governments – the official end to the war and start of the new world order had yet to be concluded.

    The Big Eleven:

    · Donald Rumsfeld; United States of America

    · Winston Churchill; United Kingdom of Great Britain

    · Francois Mitterrand; French Fourth Republic

    · Gerhard Frey; Free Empire of Germany

    · Augusto Pinochet; Republic of Chile

    · Idi Amin; Republic of Uganda

    · Andries Treurnicht; Republic of South Africa

    · Yukio Mishima; Empire of Japan

    · Saddam Hussein; Republic of Iraq

    · Yitzhak Rabin; State of Israel

    · Achille Occhetto; Republic of Italy

    Meeting in Washington as the Battle of Moscow began, they agreed on behalf of the full Anti-Warsaw Pact Alliance to accept Poland’s offer to hold the peace talks in Warsaw’s Koniecpolski Palace (considered as fitting since their enemy was the “Warsaw” Pact). Held only one month after VR Day on July 17, 1991, the Western diplomatic delegations met with the representatives of the provisional governments, new governments, or various newly-created states arising from the ashes of the old Communist countries – only Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Russian Republic was allowed representation at the conference out of all the competing Russian entities filling the vacuum of the USSR. Interim President Lech Walesa used the meeting to showcase Poland’s newfound liberation, massive celebrations about Poland’s Catholic identity and rich history. All of this worked magic for the international media but were underscored by the tense negotiations between the parties. The initial plans submitted were based off the working documents from the Riyadh Conference. Defeated Warsaw Pact nations had no real standing to contest any territorial losses. Unless they had benefactors as many of the former African socialist countries had in the Entebbe Pact, all were occupied and defeated, but they nevertheless put up a spirited defense of their interests. Wild proposals were kept squashed by the Big Eleven, who despite expansionist wishes of their own wanted to keep away a Versailles-like peace.

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    President Rumsfeld with Vladimir Putin, Chief of Staff to interim Russian President Solzhenitsyn, while awaiting the aforementioned President on September 1, 1991. The two would discuss issues regarding the developing Civil War within Russia.

    Determined to finish everything as quickly as possible to restart the world economy from its dormant war footing, the Treaty of Warsaw was completed on September 25, 1991. The world order prepared so conclusively at Potsdam 46 years previously was swept away, something far newer left in its place:

    · The Allies would recognize the Free Russian Republic as the successor state to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The FRR would then accept full responsibility for the war, recognize all Warsaw Pact successor states, recognize all new states formed out of the former USSR, accept Allied occupation troops within FRR territory, and hand over all war criminals indicted by the special tribunal in Warsaw.

    · No former Warsaw Pact state may possess nuclear weapons, and any within their borders must be handed over to Allied-backed United Nations inspectors. The FRR may only possess military equipment and troop concentrations necessary for internal security operations, and all excess are to be delivered to Allied nations in lieu of reparations.

    · The FRR is to transfer Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, Kamchatka, and all territory of Outer Manchuria east of the Amur river to the Empire of Japan in perpetuity. The Empire of Japan will provide for the expenses of all Russian citizens that seek to emigrate from these territories.

    · The following states formerly of the USSR are granted independence and self-determination: Republic of Tuva, Islamic Republic of Chechnya, Khanate of Dagestan, Circassian Republic, Emirate of Ingushetia, Republic of Ossetia, Republic of Balkaria, Kingdom of Georgia, Islamic Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Armenia, Ukrainian Hetmanate, Byelorussian Kingdom, Second Timurid Empire, Kingdom of Lithuania, Duchy of Latvia, Dutchy of Estonia, Kingdom of Moldova (including all of Odessa Oblast south of the Dniester River), and the Kingdom of the Crimea. Territory for Ukraine, Lithuania, and Byelorussia are to be set at pre-Molotov-Ribbentrop borders for all except the city of Vilnius (such territory annexed following Molotov-Ribbentrop will be administered by joint German/Italian/Polish authorities).

    · The German Democratic Republic is declared defunct. All territory formerly belonging to the GDR are to be considered integral territory of the Free German Empire.

    · The FRR is to cede Kaliningrad Oblast to the German Empire in perpetuity and pay reparations for all Germans displaced from their ancestral homes – no matter the country – in the years following World War II. Poland will cede all territory it currently holds that once comprised the German province of East Prussia and the City of Stettin. All additional territory once belonging to the Weimar Republic and Free City of Danzig are to be put under joint German-Polish authority until both countries can come to a resolution on the matter of control.

    · Finland is to be restored to pre-1940 borders and be awarded both Murmansk Oblast and the Karelian ASSR.

    · Ukraine’s Zakarpattia Oblast is to be granted independence as the Duchy of Ruthenia.

    · Armenia is to be awarded the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, but will relinquish all claims to Nakhchivan.

    · Turkey is to be awarded the Abkhazia and Adjara regions of the former Georgian SSR.

    · Disputed Iranian territory is to be awarded along the lines of the Qom Nine-power Agreement.

    · Lebanon and Syria are to be placed under the protection of the French Fourth Republic, while both governments are to recognize all Israeli territorial gains in the Yom Kippur War and recognize the State of Israel.

    · The Republic of Iraq, due to the death of the majority of the Kuwaiti Royal Family, is to be granted possession of Kuwait.

    · Italy is to be restored to pre-1943 borders on the European continent minus the port city of Fiume, which is to pass under Croatian control. In exchange, Croatian and Slovenian originated goods are to be granted no custom or port duties in the port of Triste.

    · The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is declared defunct and replaced by the Greater Serbian Republic. The former Socialist Republic of Slovenia is to be granted independence except for territory passed to the Republic of Italy. The former Socialist Republic of Croatia is to be granted independence except for territory passed to the Republic of Italy and the Krajina/Spilt region, which is to be retained by Serbia.

    · Slovakia and the Czech Republic are to be combined into the Republic of Czechoslovakia with its capitol in Prague. All Hungarian majority areas within the former Slovakia are to be passed on to Hungary for the sake of homogeneity and unity among nations.

    · The territories of Transylvania, Crișana, and Maramureș within the Romanian nation are to be granted independence as the Kingdom of Transylvania.

    · The Republic of Sudan is to transfer its southern provinces to the Kingdom of Ubangi-Shari in perpetuity.

    · The Republic of Cameroon is to transfer the provinces of Northwest and Southwest to the Republic of Biafra in perpetuity.

    · The Empire of Ethiopia is to surrender the Ogaden region to the Republic of Somalia in perpetuity.

    · The Lozo Kingdom is to be recognized by all nations. The remainder of the former Zambian nation is to be divided up as agreed to in the Salisbury Conference.

    · The People's Republic of the Congo is declared defunct, and all integral territory of said state is to be granted to the Republic of Zaire.

    · The Worker’s Republic of Mali is declared defunct, and all integral territory of said state is to be divided between the Republic of Niger and the Republic of Mauritania as determined by the 1990 French Community Conference in Algiers.

    · Each of the South American Warsaw Pact nations is to submit to occupation by parties of the Anti-Warsaw Pact Alliance till a yet undetermined date.

    · The Provisional Government of the Brazilian Republic is to transfer Amapá Province to the Guiana Province of the French Fourth Republic in perpetuity.

    · The Provisional Government of the Argentine State is to renounce all claims to the British Falkland Islands. It is to transfer Santa Cruz and Chubut Provinces to the Republic of Chile in perpetuity. Tierra del Fuego province is to be transferred to Chile, but the United Kingdom of Great Britain is to be offered a deal to purchase the land at a fair price.

    · The Germán Busch, Cordillera, Chiquitos, Ángel Sandoval, José Miguel de Velasco, and Ñuflo de Chávez provinces of the Santa Cruz Department of the Republic of Bolivia are to be transferred to the Republic of Paraguay in perpetuity.

    · The Republic of Ecuador is to lease the Galapagos Islands to the United States of America on the same terms as the lease term for the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

    President Solzhenitsyn, Foreign Minister Chernomyrdin, Minister Semichastny, and Marshal Gromov had no choice. The only representatives that remained from the original Warsaw Pact – all others killed, imprisoned, or deposed in coups or invasions – the terms left their nation sundered and crippled as even a regional power. But the terms were the best they could get. Faced with the vengeful Allies just waiting for an excuse to go on the offensive again and even the remaining areas of Russia splintering into civil war, they signed the Treaty of Warsaw on September 26, 1991.

    World War III was finally over.

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    Via @TheTexasRanger. Here is the initial dispositions of the Second Russian Civil War
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    ------------------------------​

    It was called many things. The Red Death, the Wrath of God, Atahualpa’s Revenge, el Aniquilador, o Pastor da Morte, Hucha, and the Scourge. Utter horror had already plagued the world for the over two years of World War III, and it seemed incomprehensible to many that God would reign His wrath upon humanity yet again. What happened would fall in the annals of the great evils of its kind: The Black Death, Smallpox in the Americas, and the Spanish Influenza.

    The official scientific name for the organism was a filovirus. Containing a single strand of Ribonucleic acid (RNA) within a grouping of helical proteins, the pseudo-living organism anywhere from 750-1000 nanometers in length. Each strand of proteins was formed in a long staff, oftentimes with a loop at the end that gave the famous name “Shepherd’s Crook.” Its original host was unknown, most virologists feeling that it began in one or more species of central/east African bat, but it hopped into primates and humans.

    The first ever recorded filovirus outbreak occurred in a warehouse for a primate wholesaler in 1967 West Germany. It presented with flu-like symptoms, but quickly morphed into lethargy, internal bleeding, and full onset hemorrhagic fever that resulted in blood pouring out of every orifice. The outbreak was in the town of Marburg, Hesse, and doctors dubbed it the Marburg Virus. Additional outbreaks in Europe and Kenya proved this strain to have a one in four mortality rate.

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    The unique shape of the Marburg Virus earned its nickname “Shepherd’s Crook.”
    Further, isolated outbreaks occurred across Africa in the 1970s and 1980s, but the Entebbe Pact managed to prevent the virus from spreading outside the specific communities. It was in the devastation of World War III and the focus on fighting left many communities without adequate quarantine protection. Residents of several small villages in the Rwanda province of Uganda began to fall ill with flu-like symptoms in late spring 1991. By the time Ugandan authorities discovered the problem, it had already spread into the slums and hospitals of Kigali. Internal Security Bureau commander Paul Kagame ordered a full quarantine of the city, but sick travelers began to flock across southern and central Africa carrying the disease.

    Doctors of the World Health Organization flew into Africa by the hundreds, and in May 1991 declared there was an epidemic of the Marburg virus in a dozen countries in southern Africa. Since the only areas with significantly destroyed infrastructure were the former Zambia and Zaire’s Katanga province (heavily-armed troops of the Ugandan military preventing the infection from spreading north of Rwanda Province), the virus could easily be isolated in the localities it came into. However, what authorities did not expect was that this was a new strain different from Marburg Hesse. Marburg Rwanda was both aerosol transmitted and had a 50% mortality rate. Outbreaks spread like wildfire, South Africa, Zaire, Uganda, and Rhodesia equipping their military with full MOPP gear to take the lead in stopping it. One large outbreak was in the Cape Town slums where over 21,000 people would die from the disease (Prime Minister Treurnicht earning widespread adoration from black and white alike for personally visiting the infected).

    By the time the WHO declared the epidemic in Africa over in August 1991, Marburg Rwanda had claimed 2,500,000 lives, mostly in central Africa and a massive outbreak in Cameroon and Nigeria. But this would be a picnic compared to what happened next.

    After the defeat of the South American communists – officially declared with the installation of Ernesto Geisel as President of Brazil – immense foreign aid poured into the continent. All of it had been battered and bombed, lacking the structural infrastructure of Europe or the large undamaged portions of Africa. A lot of that aid came from the Entebbe Pact, and with it an unwanted invader. To this day no one knows who the original patient zero was or where he came from, or if there was more than one. But it is undisputed that the first known case popped up in the bombed-out ruin of Sao Paulo. She was a local soup kitchen employee, one of the many shiftless locals made homeless by American and Chilean strategic bombing runs. He entered the massive aid tents with a mild flu and was proscribed bed rest and fluids. She did not get better and suffered from a full body hemorrhage on July 21, 1991. Conditions being shitty – patients often having to sleep on bare grass or shit-lined concrete floors, the infection quickly spread.

    By August it was clear as outbreaks broke out in Peru, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, the Marburg Virus had spread to South America. On the ground observations and tests at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta proved that this was a new strain – a far deadlier strain. Dubbed Marburg Brazil, it was as contagious as influenza and had a 95% mortality rate. For Allied military forces and the UN, new orders were given and resources began flooding in to halt the tide before a global pandemic could happen – but it was too late.

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    American doctors treating a Brazilian refugee in Bolivia before the United Nations quarantine.
    Marburg Brazil slammed into South America like a scourge – a US Army chaplain would coin it that and the press ran with it. Since Allied focus had been with finishing off the USSR or fighting various communist insurgencies on behalf of weak provisional governments, the majority of South America hadn’t left the bombed-out ruin stage. Tens of millions still lived in vast tent cities and favelas, millions more wandering on foot for any food or shelter. For an aerosol virus, such was perfect transmission grounds. Supplies were slow in arriving and Allied military forces found themselves overwhelmed as every village, every town, every city found itself filled to the brim with infection. All non-screened air travel out of South America was grounded but boats filled with refugees tried to escape – many heading to Central America. Panic grew across the world, fears of nuclear holocaust replaced with one of a new Black Death.

    As a result, the United Nations Security Council met on September 11, 1991 for the first time since before WWIII. A grim task was presented by the Chilean representative, the lone South American nation on the council. In coordination with the United States and Great Britain, Chile had concluded that most of the South American continent was doomed as Europe was during the Black Death. Weak governments, wrecked countries, and lack of border controls between the nations guaranteed the infection’s spread. President Pinochet had already given orders for a “shoot on sight” policy at the borders, and the medical experts stated that it was a virtual certainty that the infection would spread worldwide unless the same was done for the entirety of the continent. Such a humanitarian disaster was quite unpopular. France threatened to veto as each country squabbled over the morality of it all – what tipped the scale was reports of an outbreak in Chiapas, Mexico. On the council, Mexico authorized an internal “Shoot on sight” quarantine policy while the opposition to such collapsed. “God have mercy on our souls,” whispered UK ambassador John Major as the Council voted unanimously to institute a full UN quarantine on South America and withdraw all Allied occupation troops.

    Mass evacuations began almost immediately. General Hal Moore was ordered back to the region to take command, instituting Dunkirk rules. Men came first, massive dumps of equipment left behind as “in kind” contributions to the various South American provisional governments or sold to the Chileans for pennies on the dollar. Every nation with troops in South America withdrew them and withdrew them quickly, often using live ammunition and air power to fight off mobs of civilians trying to storm bases. Chilean commanders ordered their forces to flee in massive convoys of tanks, APCs, and trucks, only stopping to refuel. President Pinochet ordered all forces to defend the national borders at all costs, which included the newly annexed Argentine Patagonia (seeing Chilean soldiers defending their frontiers would quell any rebellious intent among the natives). Many tried to flee with them, but warning shots from aircraft or ships enforcing the quarantine forced them back. With the departure of the Allies and the institution of the naval and air quarantine over non-Chilean/British/French South America and over the infected areas of Central America, the local governments were forced to fend for themselves.

    Without foreign help, the militaries and quarantine forces were quickly overwhelmed. Even nations victorious in the war had dissolved their conscript armies and what professionals and militia were left suffered a deficiency in biological suits and medical equipment. Marburg devastated the militaries just as it did the civilian population, and streams of refugees fleeing infection-riddled cities – often compared to the Black Plague in sheer scope – spreading the disease to what safe zones were left. Quarantine efforts were made on highly-afflicted cities, but with manpower short it was a losing battle. Finally, on Christmas Eve, the Brazilian government found a new way to proceed with rooting out the infection when a flight of the Brazilian Air Force’s last remaining strike aircraft gutted the city of Natal with incendiary bombs.

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    It wasn’t just Natal that was targeted. What armies were left after the end of the war being overwhelmed, governments from Colombia to Paraguay were forced to institute “quarantine liquidation” over large segments of the infected populace. Lessons of Natal were incorporated, and no other mass bombings occurred again. The goal was instead to “contain and burn out,” cities too heavily infected isolated through bombings of bridges, highways, and controlled burnings of suburban areas to hem people in while surrounding villages were merely wiped out. Colombia, Venezuela, and Argentina instituted the two-bullet rule when dealing with Marburg victims, out of desperation rather than malice. Hate for the provisional governments skyrocketed, local warlords began assembling (In Uruguay, the death of the provisional president from Marburg caused the entire system to collapse into anarchy), and suicides skyrocketed. “What have we become?” lamented William F. Buckley, speaking for many in the world as they watched South America burn.

    While the hold of the Brazilian central government collapsed across most of the nation, the core population centers remained under the grip of the 150,000 regular troops – who by now were little more than President Geisel’s private security force kept loyal by protection from the virus. Sentiment burned bright against the government, but the cities were too chaotic and Marburg-ravaged to do anything about it. No, what brought about what would be known as the Anarchy was yet another example of a rage of nature. In the South Atlantic, the phenomena of hurricanes were almost never seen due to the unique meteorological conditions that created them north of the Equator. When one did emerge, as it did in January 1992, they were small. This one was a mere category 2. But with the country so ravaged, the tropical gales sliced through Brazil like a knife through butter. Half of Rio de Janiero was flooded, fever-ridden refugees in the favelas drowning by the tens of thousands since they were too weak to escape. Scarce resources were washed away, order collapsing (ironically, the floods trapped people within the cities, helping lower the spread of the virus). Top government officials and the wealthy elite holed themselves up in military bases or large estates with their military guards, citizens fleeing the cities and leaving the infected to die. Such chaos would be the underpinnings of the future Brazilian Civil War.

    Society diving into the abyss, despair formed as hundreds of thousands across all nations would commit mass suicide to avoid the horrors of death by Marburg. Hopelessness brought a renewal of faith within the continent, all communist efforts to rollback religion were rendered moot. Cathedrals and churches were packed as millions prayed for salvation through the carnage. One Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Theresa, had earned a name for herself caring for the poor in Brazil through the entire communist rule of the nation – so beloved, the government refused to touch her. After the provisional government had fled into the countryside she remained in Rio de Janerio, caring for the poor in the favelas. She would miraculously not contract Marburg and earn worldwide notoriety for her actions.

    In Peru, half destroyed by war and half underdeveloped from decades of neglect by the dictatorial military government (not to mention the various bombing raids), the virus first entered through the ports and airfields, spreading with the help of streams of Bolivian and Brazilian refugees. With Chile’s borders closed and the massive tent cities virtual breeding grounds for the virus, any goodwill that President Francisco Morales-Bermudez gained from victory ended in the heavy-handed quarantine measures. Relying on UN and Allied aid, when it dried up he made protecting Lima and his own criolles class more important than the rest of the nation. Distraught, many sought salvation through other ways while the virus burned through their communities. The Defenders of Inti entered to fill this void. Across the mountainous nation, its zealous members used their popularity from the Battle of Manaus to gain access to the public and assist whatever doctors remained. In the thick of it all was their leader, Pachacuti, ever much the legend.

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    Pachacuti beseeching the gods for reprieve from the pandemic.

    In a ceremony televised from an unknown location, Pachacuti would care for the infected free of any mask. He would drink cups of infected blood, proclaiming that the old gods would protect him if they sought a new dawn in Peru. After a month, he emerged once more completely healthy, his thrall among the people of Peru growing exponentially (his diary told a different story, where the leader had contracted Marburg Brazil and was on death’s door for two weeks before he miraculously became one of the 5% that survived).

    As the southern summer began to die, so too did the infection. Though Marburg Brazil was the easiest to transmit than its less deadly cousins, the death of their vectors, brutal quarantine methods by governments and private militias, and the collapsing society of South America allowed further transmissions to peter out – and rather rapidly at that. UN monitors would identify cases plummeting in February, and on April 1, 1992, the Chilean government declared the epidemic over. Cases of Marburg would still pop up for the rest of the year, but the worst had passed. However, the worst had been devastating to South America. On top of the losses of WWIII, the UN estimated that 81 million people had fallen victim to the Marburg virus or the resulting chaos worldwide - more than in the worldwide Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919.

    South America’s population had been scythed, a third of its people killed in war, disease, or the chaos that followed both. Only Chile and the European controlled coastal regions in the northeast managed to escape hell. Many prayed that the daylight would bring salvation to the battered land, but time would tell that darkness had just begun to engulf the continent.

    Warsaw Trials
    Starting in October 1991, the world mixed its horror over the ongoing epidemic in South and Central America to focus on the Polish city of Warsaw once more. Beginning was the trial of the half century, where the various antagonists and accused war criminals of the Warsaw Pact were to be tried for their crimes. Unlike in the post-WWII trials at Nuremburg and Tokyo, all criminals from every front were gathered in the same place, several still at-large defendants (either fled or affiliated with Gennady Yanayev’s Russian Socialist Republic) being tried in absentia. Initially, the Allies wanted to hold the trials in the newly renamed St. Petersburg and initial efforts were made to have the trial in one of the old Tsarist buildings. However, a series of terrorist attacks by supporters of Zhirinovsky’s State of Russia targeting Allied and FRR forces made General Powell rethink his options. An invitation by President Walesa brought the Allies back to the Polish capitol once more.

    The trials were in the same structure as the Nuremburg Trials. One main and one alternate judge were drawn from the US, UK, France, German Empire, Italy, South Africa, Entebbe Pact, Japan, and Chile, led by Senior Judge Harry Blackmun of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. The lead prosecutor was the youthful and passionate Governor of Washington, who accepted despite his demanding job as part of his “service to God and country.” Prosecutions lasting a total of seven months due to the sheer number of indicted offenders (which only included the highest profile or worst), immense media attention was given.

    Public opinion had portrayed Kryuchkov as the second coming of Hitler since the war began – although in Poland, a near lynch mob occurred when demonstrators faced off against police when former Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski arrived for his trial – media outlets focusing more and more on Soviet atrocities as the war went on. Many were routinely compared to the various Nazi war criminals such as Himmler, Goering, and Goebbels, but the man that captured the hate of the entire world would end up being Brig. Gen Andrei Chikatilo. Starting the war as an Auxiliary Captain in the KGB Border Guards, he had risen rapidly through the ranks due to superiors admiring his zeal for atrocity. Put in charge of larger and larger units on occupation duty, he was known to massacre entire towns (the largest being the systematic liquidation of fifty thousand people in the town of Regensburg in March 1990) and to personally torture and kill young women in Germany, Holland, Czechia, and Poland. His atrocities were shown to the world by Ted Bundy himself in Chikatlio’s in absentia trial, the defendant at large somewhere in the vastness of Russia. Poland had a $10 million bounty on his head, Germany a $35 million bounty.
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    The former Palace of Culture and Science had hosted the infamous Warsaw Trials, today it is a famous spot for tourists visiting Warsaw.

    Counts:

    1. Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of imposing tyrannical control on foreign powers.

    2. Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace.

    3. Ordered, authorized, and permitted inhumane treatment of prisoners of war.

    4. Ordered, authorized, and permitted inhumane treatment of civilians.

    5. Ordered, authorized, and permitted mass murder by means of war.

    6. Conspiracy to instigate nuclear war.

    Judges:

    · Harry Blackmun, Senior Judge for the 8th Circuit; American Main; Chief Judge

    · Sam Alito, Assistant Attorney General; American Alternate

    · Baron Slynn of Hadley, Lord of Appeal in Ordinary; British Main

    · Kenneth Clarke, MP for Rushcliffe; British Alternate

    · Franz, Prince of Bavaria; German Imperial Main

    · Helmut Kohl, Justice Minister; German Imperial Alternate

    · Jacques Delors, Minister of Justice; French Main

    · Pascal Clément, Court of Appeals Judge; French Alternate

    · Prince Yamanashi Kazuo, Vice Chair of the House of Peers; Japanese Main

    · Shintaro Abe, Minister of Justice; Japanese Alternate

    · Giulio Andreotti, Former Prime Minister; Italian Main

    · Paolo Savona, President of the Italian Central Bank; Italian Alternate

    · F. W. de Klerk, Deputy President; South African Main

    · Alfred Nzo, Shadow Foreign Minister; South African Alternate

    · Rodolfo Stange, Chief of the General Staff; Chilean Main

    · Patricio Aylwin, Senator of Chile; Chilean Alternate

    · Juvénal Habyarimana, Minister of Justice; Entebbe Pact Main

    · Nzanga Mobutu, Speaker of the National Assembly; Entebbe Pact Alternate

    Prosecutors:

    · Theodore “Ted” Bundy, Governor of Washington; United States

    · Rudolph Giuliani, US Attorney; United States

    · Emlyn Hooson, Baron Hooson; Britain

    · Hans A. Engelhard, Member of the Reichstag; German Empire

    · Peter Reith, MP; Australia

    · B. Hussein Obama Jr, Aide to President Idi Amin; Entebbe Pact

    · Nicolas Sarkozy, Former Counsel to Jacques Cousteau; France

    · Mayumi Moriyama, Chief Cabinet Secretary; Japan

    · Hussein Kamel al-Majid, Interior Minister; Iraq

    Defendants/Verdicts:

    · Vladimir Kryuchkov, General Secretary of the USSR; guilty on all counts; death

    · Pytor Demichev, Soviet Defense Minister; guilty on all counts; death

    · Viktor Chebrikov, Soviet Minister for State Security; guilty on all counts; death

    · Grigory Romanov, Party Secretary for the CPSU; guilty on counts 1 and 2; life imprisonment

    · Volodymyr Shcherbytsky, Soviet Interior Minister; guilty on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Andrei Gromyko, Chairman of the Presidium; acquitted on counts 1 and 2

    · Gennady Yanayev, Chairman of the Council of Ministers; guilty on counts 1 and 2 in absentia; life imprisonment

    · Valentin Pavlov, Minister of Finance; acquitted on counts 1 and 2

    · Saparmurat Niyazov; First Secretary of the Turkmenistan Party; guilty on counts 1, 4, and 5; death

    · Dinmukhamed Kunayev, Chairman of the Kazakh Party; acquitted on counts 1 and 2

    · Karen Demirchyan; First Secretary of the Armenian Party; guilty on count 4; 5 years imprisonment

    · Nikolay Slyunkov, Chairman of the Byelorussian Party; guilty on counts 1 and 2; 15 years imprisonment

    · Vladimir Ivashko, Chairman of the Ukrainian Party; guilty on counts 1, 4, and 5; death

    · Nikolai Talyzin, Chairman of the Central Planning Commission; guilty on counts 3 and 4; 15 years imprisonment

    · Anatoly Lukyanov, Gosplan Director; guilty on counts 3 and 4; life imprisonment

    · Mykolas Burokevičius, Civilian Administrator for Occupied Czechia; guilty on counts 4 and 5; death

    · Yevgeny Primakov, Director of the KGB First Chief Directorate; acquitted on count 1

    · Sergey Solokov, Chief of the Soviet General Staff; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Gennady Kolkhin, Supreme Red Army Commander; guilty in absentia on counts 4 and 5; death

    · Alexander Yefimov, Marshal of Aviation; guilty on count 5; life imprisonment

    · Igor Rodionov, Commander Central Asian Military District; guilty on counts 4 and 5; death

    · Yuri Drozdov, Commander KGB I Corps; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Aleksandr Ryabenko, Commander KGB II Corps; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Oleg Nechiporenko, Chairman of the First Chief Directorate; acquitted on counts 1 and 4

    · Borys Steklyar, KGB Second Chief Directorate Commander for the Ukrainian SSR; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Vadim Matrosov; KGB Second Chief Directorate Commander for the Caucasus; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Alexey Kozlov; KGB Africa Bureau Chief; guilty on counts 4 and 5; life imprisonment

    · Ilya Kalinichenko; Commander KGB Border Troops; guilty in absentia on counts 4 and 5; death

    · Pyotr Ivashutin; GRU Chairman; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Valentin Korabelnikov, GRU Field Compliance Commander; guilty in absentia on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Vadim Bakatin, Soviet Deputy Minister of Interior; guilty on count 4; 10 years imprisonment

    · Andrei Chikatilo, Commander 1st Occupation Directorate Division; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5 in absentia; death

    · Markus Wolf, General Secretary of the GDR; guilty on counts 2, 3, 4, and 5 in absentia; death

    · Egon Krenz, Acting General Secretary of the GDR; guilty on counts 2 and 4; life imprisonment

    · Erich Mielke, GDR Minister for State Security; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Helena Wolińska-Brus, People’s Guard Commander; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Günter Mittag; GDR Planned Economy Director; guilty on count 2; 5 years imprisonment

    · Hilde Benjamin, Chief Judge for the Special Administrative Courts; guilty on counts 3 and 4; death

    · Günter Schabowski, GDR Foreign Minister; acquitted on count 2

    · Willi Stoph, GDR Chairman of the Council of Ministers; guilty on counts 1 and 2; 15 years imprisonment

    · Elena Ceausescu, President of Romania; guilty on counts 1, 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Emil Bobu, Interior Minister of Romania; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Iulian Vlad, Chairman of the Securitate; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Zoia Ceaușescu, Minister without portfolio; acquitted on counts 2 and 4

    · Nicu Ceaușescu, Minister without portfolio; guilty on counts 2, 4, and 5; 10 years imprisonment

    · Wojciech Jaruzelski, President of the Polish People’s Republic; guilty on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Florian Siwicki, Commander Polish 1st Army; guilty on counts 3 and 4; life imprisonment

    · Zbigniew Messner, Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Poland; guilty on counts 1 and 4; life imprisonment

    · Michał Janiszewski, Minister of Defense; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Mirosław Hermaszewski, Commander Polish Air Force; acquitted on count 5

    · Salomon Morel, Commander Ministry of State Security; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · András Hegedüs, General Secretary of the Worker’s Party of Hungary; guilty on counts 2, 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Khosro Golsorkhi, General Secretary of the Tudeh Party; guilty on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Maryam Firouz, Commissioner of Ideological and Religious Affairs, guilty on count 4; life imprisonment

    · Bahram Afzali, Defense Minister; guilty on counts 3 and 5; death

    · Bozorg Alavi, Minister of Culture; guilty on count 1; 5 years imprisonment

    · Fereydoun Keshavarz, Speaker of the Majles; acquitted on counts 1 and 2

    · Nosrat-ollah Jahanshahlou, Occupation Governor of Iraqi Kurdistan; guilty on counts 4 and 5; death

    · Massoud Rajavi, Supreme Leader People’s Mujahedeen; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Ali Sayad Shirazi, Commander Iranian Ground Forces; guilty on counts 3 and 4; 20 years imprisonment

    · Abdul Rauf al-Kasm, Prime Minister of Syria; guilty on count 2; 10 years imprisonment

    · Nasser al-Din Nasir, Interior Minister; guilty on counts 3 and 4; death

    · Tafari Benti, General Secretary of Ethiopia; guilty on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Fikre Selassie Wogderess; Administrator of Occupied Somalia; guilty on counts 4 and 5; life imprisonment

    · Atnafu Abate; Commander II Front; guilty on count 4, acquitted on count 3; 10 years imprisonment

    · Mogus Wolde Mikael; Director Military Security; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Sadiq al-Mahdi; Prime Minister of Sudan; guilty on counts 1 and 2; life imprisonment

    · Tunji Otegbeye, General Secretary of Nigeria; guilty on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Ipoola Alani Akinrinade, Chief of the Military Staff; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Idris Garba, Occupation Governor for Biafra; guilty on counts 4 and 5; death

    · Muhammadu Buhari, Commander Military Intelligence; guilty on count 4, acquitted on counts 3 and 5; 20 years imprisonment

    · Isaac Adaka Boro; Communist Militia Defense Force Commander; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Chris Hani, Supreme Leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe; guilty of count 4 in absentia; life imprisonment

    · Joe Slovo, Operations Director Umkhonto we Sizwe; guilty of count 4 in absentia; death

    · Carlos Marighella, President of Brazil; guilty on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in absentia; death

    · Alberto Goldman; Defense Minister; guilty in count 2, acquitted on counts 3 and 5; 10 years imprisonment

    · João Amazonas; Interior Minister; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5 in absentia; death

    · Vladimir Herzog; Communications minister; guilty on counts 1 and 2; life imprisonment

    · Renato Rabelo; Director Brazilian Medical Guild (the Red Mengele); guilty on count 3 and 4; death

    · Maria Werneck de Castro, Occupation Director; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Mario Roberto Santucho, General Secretary of the Argentine Communist Party; guilty on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Liliana Delfino, Coordinator of Interior Enforcement; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death

    · Esther Norma Arrostito; Chief Judge of the Revolutionary Court; guilty on count 4; death

    · Enrique Gorriarán Merlo; Commander People’s Assault Battalion; guilty on counts 3, 4, and 5; death


    The End
    Continuation of the TL on the new discussion page
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019